For pet owners

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There’s lots to learn as a pet owner, but we’re here to help. We have collected a number of handy resources. You’ll find more on our Policies, Guidelines & Resources page.

Choosing your pet

Pet ownership can be an incredibly rewarding experience, enriching the lives of you and your family. But the decision to take on a pet should never be made lightly and is a big responsibility. Ultimately, you want a pet that is happy, healthy and suits your family and lifestyle. Read our guide on Choosing Your Pet

Ethical puppy and dog buyers guide

In the same way that ethics are guiding purchases for food and clothing, the NZVA suggests that prospective owners also consider ethical issues when obtaining a pet dog. Read our Ethical Puppy and Dog Buyers Guide

Visiting your veterinarian with your pet

Regular health checks for companion animals are important. Cats and dogs age quickly and to ensure a healthy life for your pet it's always best to catch medical problems early on. Yearly checks are recommended.

As well as treating your pet, veterinarians can give you advice on how best to look after your animal to prevent health problems. They can provide advice on feeding, nurturing, training and exercise. Find out more about what to expect when you visit the Veterinarian

Caring for your pet

The New Zealand Veterinary Association strongly supports those principles of responsible cat ownership that contribute to creating a harmonious relationship between people, animals and the environment. Read our Responsible Cat Ownership Policy

Veterinarians have knowledge and expertise on the principles of responsible dog ownership and dog welfare. This knowledge can assist dog owners to meet their responsibilities and retain the benefits that society enjoys from living with dogs. Read our Responsible Dog Ownership Policy

Breeding pet cats and dogs comes with a responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of both the parents and the offspring. These guidelines set out expectations for breeders of both purebred and mixed breed animals. Read our Responsible Breeding Policy

Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD)

New Zealand has three strains of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV), which is also known as rabbit calicivirus. These viruses are now present in wild rabbits throughout the country and present a risk to unvaccinated pet rabbits. Read our Information for Rabbit Owners

Antimicrobial resistance

The veterinary profession's aspirational goal is that "By 2030 New Zealand Inc. will not need antibiotics for the maintenance of animal health and wellness". This goal was launched in 2015 and we are leading the way, and working collaboratively with a range of organisations, to promote the responsible use of antibiotics in animals to ensure their continued effectiveness in safeguarding both animal and human health. Find out more about Antimicrobial Resistance

Choose a BESTPRACTICE® accredited veterinary clinic or hospital

BESTPRACTICE® accredited veterinary clinics and hospitals offer animal owners the best possible standard of veterinary care at all times. Find out more about BESTPRACTICE