For pet owners

There’s a lot 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 Clinical resources and Non-clinical resources pages.

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.

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.

Responsible pet ownership

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.

Visiting your veterinarian

Regular health checks for pets 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.

Animal emergency? Think P.E.T. Find out what to do if you think your pet needs to see a vet outside their normal business hours.

Caring for your pet

Leaving home for holidays? Leaving your pets behind in their own home or with friends/family? Travelling with your pets? Checking your fur babies into a pet hotel? Ensure your pet is ready for your holiday with our handy printable infographic.

A well-socialised puppy is the key to growing a confident, well-behaved and sociable member of your family. Read more on puppy socialisation.

There are many types of algae that can grow in waterways throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. It’s important to know which algae can be harmful to people and dogs, so we can enjoy our waterways safely during summer. Read Greater Wellington Regional Council's fact sheet on toxic algae.

Paws Off! Southern Cross Pet Insurance and the NZVA have teamed up to develop a simple open source warning symbol to educate pet guardians about common foods and ingredients that can be toxic to pets. Learn more about the Paws Off! symbol.

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 (AMR)

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®