• Call us01 6270402

We are open and COVID-19 SECURE. Click here to find out more

Pet Advice

Our expert advice for caring for your pet

  • Adoption
  • Neutering
  • Microchipping
  • New Kittens
  • New Puppies
  • Nutrition and Weight Management
  • Pet Passports
  • Saying Goodbye

Adoption

If you are thinking about adding a new furry addition to your family, the most important thing is to do some research first! As tempting as it may be, it is not wise to rush out and buy the cutest fluffiest puppy you can find without doing some homework.

Unfortunately, this happens all too often and will result in a situation where the animal ends up (through no fault of its own) being surrendered to a shelter as the owners cannot cope. This does not necessarily make the owners bad people, even though they often feel like they are! It is mostly down to a lack of knowledge and planning, or just a bad fit. Either way it is a situation we can try to avoid.

Firstly, assess your family situation and demographic.

  • How is the animal going to fit into the family?
  • Are there children in the family?
  • Is the primary caregiver suffering from any ailments or mobility issues?
  • Are there other animals already present?
  • Are they sociable with other dogs?
  • Do you have the adequate space and safe environment to provide enrichment and safety for a dog? What size could you accommodate?
  • What hours of the day will you be able to dedicate to the animal for the entirety of their lengthy lives.

With family and environment considered, you should have a better idea of what you need in a dog and what a dog needs from you! More importantly, you should also have a better idea now if a puppy is the right choice for you at this time! For some who could not handle the boisterous energy of a puppy or would not be able to dedicate the time and effort to train them, perhaps adopting a dog could be a more appropriate alternative.

With these factors considered, we can start to look at what breed of dog will suit you individually. As we all know, breeds of dog vary so much physically, however their traits and qualities vary also, some will require moderate amounts of exercise whereas some will require much more, some are better around people than other animals, some are prone to breed-specific disease, some are easy to train whereas others can take time! And without trying to sound mean, some are more intelligent than others!

Shelters or rescue centres in Ireland generally operate at near capacity. Unfortunately, a lot of the animals involved will spend a majority of lives here, and most likely have had a bad time of it before this. If possible and it suits you, adopting from a centre can be very rewarding for the animal and also for you. Rescue dogs can make wonderful pets.

Neutering

We provide neutering services for different animal species.

Neutering means surgically preventing pets from reproducing. In males, the operation is called castration and in females it’s called spaying.

With castration both testicles are removed which takes away the main source of the male hormone testosterone. With spaying, both the ovaries and the uterus are removed which means the female is unable to become pregnant.

For more information, read our species-specific info

Microchipping

Under the Microchipping of Dogs Regulations of 2015, it is now compulsory to have your dog microchipped and registered with a government approved database (see below). You will also need to have a dog microchipping certificate in your possession.

When getting your dog microchipped, you will need to bring Photo ID and a Utility bill with your current address, from the previous 3 months, as well as your dog. All dogs are required to be microchipped by 12 weeks of age, or beforehand if ownership is being transferred e.g. a new owner buying a pup from a breeder.

The procedure itself can be carried out in the clinic during a normal consultation. The microchip, which is about the size of a grain of rice, is injected under the skin by the vet, usually between the shoulder blades. The registration forms are then filled out, and that’s it! The vet will then register the details online and you should receive your certificate within two weeks

If your dog is already microchipped, you will need to contact your database provider to check your details are correct and to obtain the microchipping certificate. The certificate usually costs between and €4.50 and €15 per dog. This may vary between databases.

If you unsure as to whether or not your dog is microchipped, or do not know the number, bring him into us and we will scan for a chip. You will then need to check that microchip is registered correctly with an approved database.

If your dog’s chip is not registered with an approved database you must chose an approved database to register with. We can assist you with this here at Beaufield to ensure you get a Dog Microchipping Certificate.

The following are currently the only approved databases within Ireland:

There is no legislation in place regarding microchipping of cats and it is not compulsory. Here at Beaufield we do strongly encourage microchipping your pet cat, as it is the most reliable form of identification available, and offers the best chance of reunification should your beloved pet go missing.

Microchipping costs €25 at Beaufield and can be done during clinics, on an appointment or walk-in basis, or at the time of another procedure e.g. neutering. If you have any queries, or would like to book an appointment, please call us on 01-6270402 and our friendly staff will be delighted to help you!

New Kittens

Congratulations on the appointment of the new head of your family! We hope you have many enjoyable years of subservience with your new feline dictator! Our role along the way is to, not only treat or care for your pet in times of need, but to hopefully guide you with any advice you need, whether it be medical, nutritional or otherwise. The best way we can do this is to encourage and provide preventative health care. As the saying goes, Prevention is better than cure!

Some information to get you started with your kitten:

Vaccinations

Your kitten requires two rounds of vaccinations to prevent acquiring certain diseases. There are a couple of different vaccination protocols which can be used. We can discuss these with you during the initial consultation.

Vaccinations are ideally started at 9 weeks old when maternal antibodies are waning and the second vaccine is given 3 weeks later. During these consultations the vet will conduct a full health check and will offer advice on the correct care for your kitten. Around a week after your kitten gets their second round of injections, they are safe to explore this big new world and everything which comes with it.

In order to maintain this protection, an annual ‘booster’ vaccination is needed. This is also an ideal opportunity for us to assess the overall health status of the animal and address any problems you may be encountering with your pet.

Preventative Parasitic Treatment

Even if your pet spends the majority of time indoors, they are still prone to picking up parasites from the environment. These can be internal , such as worms, or external, such as fleas and ticks. A burden of either can have a serious effect on your pet’s health and can sometimes be fatal if left untreated. Some of these parasites can also be dangerous to us, humans especially our children.

Again the easiest cure is prevention. Keep up to date with treatments and you should have no problems with parasites. There are numerous options available, whether it be a topical treatment or tablet form. The form of action, the targeted parasite, and the duration of these treatments vary so please call or drop in to discuss the best option for your pet. Our products are licensed and require a Specially Qualified Person to dispense. We do not recommend any parasitic treatment available in supermarkets or pet shops

If you suspect your pet has a parasitic burden, call us or drop into the clinic to discuss the best method of treatment.

At BVC we offer a postal scheme where we will post out your parasite treatments when your pet is due. This will ensure your pet stays covered and is one less thing for you to worry about in your already hectic lives!

Neutering

Females/Queens – Unneutered female cats can have multiple litters annually and can start having these litters from about 7 months old. To avoid this we recommend getting your kitten spayed at 6 months of age. Spaying will also reduce the likelihood of your cat developing mammary tumours later in life.

Males / Toms – We recommend getting male cats castrated at 6 months of age. The main benefits of getting a male cat neutered is to reduce unwanted behaviours developing such as spraying, wandering and aggression. Spraying indoors involves marking furniture, curtains etc. and even electronics with urine to mark their territory. This can be an extremely difficult habit to break once established, not to mention the pungent smell of an unneutered male’s urine itself. Wandering is where male cats will travel distances looking for a possible partner where they can be in danger of unknown territories (traffic etc) and also fighting with other male cats. Cat fights can often result in painful abscesses forming which often require surgical intervention.

Diet

Feeding a high-quality diet will help your kitten develop and maintain a healthy body condition. Kittens kept at an ideal weight are more likely to maintain this condition through adulthood. A good quality food will also mean that most of the composition is utilised by the body which results in less stools coming out! At Beaufield we stock Royal Canin and Hills Prescription kitten food. These are high quality products which will ensure your kitten is getting the correct amounts of essential nutrients.

If you have any questions call our nurses here at the clinic to discuss.

Training

Training kittens is relatively straightforward as long as you are not expecting too much! House training involves putting down a clean litter tray with plenty of litter. Keep it away from food and water bowls and out of direct foot traffic (not the middle of the floor). Keep the tray clean to avoid accidents as kittens are unlikely to use a used tray. Keep a scratching post inside to avoid furniture being scratched instead. Never use your hands to play with your kitten, always use toys. If you plan to keep your cat indoors permanently you will have to find ways to stimulate them mentally to avoid behavioural issues arising.

Insurance

Unfortunately there may be times during your pet’s life where they become ill or hurt. As we see too often, these times are stressful for pet owners. Worrying about the expenses involved can also add to this already horrible time, thus we recommend taking out insurance for your pet to avoid this additional worry

As our pets get older, they may begin to experience problems much like us such as arthritis, heart problems and with cats, renal or kidney disease is prevalent. Other pets may suffer from conditions for the majority of their lives such as skin problems or neurological problems amongst others

Most conditions can be managed successfully but may require ongoing medications. There are numerous medicines available to help your pet live a comfortable and enriched life. We, as pet owners, can make a significant difference to their lives. An insurance policy can help with the financial aspect of ongoing medications

Most insurance policies differ from company to company. Most will not cover routine procedures, such as neutering or dental work, or preventative treatments, such as worm treatments or vaccinations

Pre-existing conditions will not be covered thus it is important to take out the policy when they are still a kitten. Whichever provider you choose, check what is covered and what you are paying for.

New Puppies

If you haven’t taken ownership of your puppy yet please take a look at our adoption section.

Firstly, we at BVC would like to welcome your new furry addition to your family and we hope you have many long and happy years together! Our role along the way is to, not only treat or care for your pet in times of need, but to hopefully guide you with any advice you need, whether it be medical, nutritional or otherwise. The best way we can do this is to encourage and provide preventative health care. As the saying goes, Prevention is better than cure!

Here is some information that will get you started with your puppy!

Vaccinations

When you obtain your puppy, regardless of whatever vaccination the breeder has given, we recommend bringing your puppy in for a general health check. As well as assessing the overall health of the puppy, it allows us to check their current vaccine status. Essentially, your puppy will need two rounds of injections to provide immunity against many of the diseases dogs can contract in this country. So, even if the breeder has given an appropriate vaccine, the chances are the puppy will still need a second round of injections to have them covered. It is also important that puppies are vaccinated for where they live rather than where they are bred and different regions will have different requirements in this regard.

In order to maintain this protection, an annual ‘booster’ vaccination is needed. This is also an ideal opportunity for us to assess the overall health status of the animal and address any problems you may be encountering with your pet. For new puppies, the vaccines are given at a time where maternal antibodies are losing effect. When your puppy gets their second round of injections, they are now safe to explore this big new world and everything which comes with it.

Preventative Parasitic Treatments

Even if your pets spend the majority of time indoors, they are still prone to picking up parasites from the environment. These can be internal , such as worms, or external, such as fleas and ticks. A burden of either can have a serious effect on your pet’s health and can sometimes be fatal if left untreated. Some of these parasites can also be dangerous to us humans, especially our children.

Again the easiest cure is prevention. Keep up to date with treatments and you should have no problems with parasites. There are numerous options available, whether it be a topical treatment or tablet form. The form of action, the targeted parasite, and the duration of these treatments vary so please call or drop in to discuss the best option for your pet. Our products are licensed and require a Specially Qualified Person to dispense. We do not recommend any parasitic treatment available in supermarkets or pet shops.

If you suspect your pet has a parasitic burden, call us or drop into the clinic to discuss the best method of treatment.
At BVC we offer a postal scheme where we will post out your parasite treatments when your pet is due. This will ensure your pet stays covered and is one less thing for you to worry about in your busy lives!

Neutering

The benefits associated with neutering far outweigh the negatives associated with leaving them as entire animals.
For females, the procedure is referred to as spaying or an ovariohysterectomy and involves removal of the uterus and ovaries under a General Anaesthetic. Neutering significantly reduces the chances of developing any mammary or associated cancers. It will also remove the possibility of a pyometra, which is an infection of the womb. A pyometra is a medical emergency and can be fatal without surgical intervention. Neutering will also avoid any unwanted or unplanned litters and stop male dogs from hanging around when your bitch is in heat.

For males, the procedure is called castration or orchidectomy and involves removal of the testicles under a general anaesthetic. Neutering male dogs greatly reduces the chance of developing prostatic disease and testicular cancer. It will also reduce wandering (looking for a mate) and may reduce aggressive behaviour or fighting.
Both procedures are relatively quick. We perform these surgeries as day procedures so we take in your pet at the start of the day and get them out home to you that same evening. Your pet will have stitches in place for 10 days and aftercare is minimal.

Diet

As breeds can vary quite significantly, it is important to feed your puppy an appropriate food. This is often overlooked by new owners but is very important. The incorrect diet can lead to health problems including developmental orthopaedic diseases (especially in large breeds) which can affect them for the rest of their lives. Other ailments and diseases can affect your dog during its life which can correlate to a bad diet, including diabetes, heart conditions and skin problems. Feeding a high quality and appropriate diet helps your puppy develop and maintain a good body condition a good weight, healthy skin and shiny coat. A puppy kept at an ideal weight and body condition is more likely to maintain this condition in adulthood. A high quality food also means that most of the composition is utilised by the body resulting in less coming out, in other words, less stools to pick up! At BVC we stock a large range of Royal Canin and Hill’s Prescription foods. These are specially formulated to ensure your puppy, and dog of any size and lifestage, is getting the correct amount of nutrition they need.

If you have any questions call our nurses here at the clinic to discuss.

Whatever diet you choose for your pup, it is important to note that a lot of the foods we humans eat are unsafe for dogs to consume.

Some of the Human Items that can be dangerous for dogs include:

  • Chocolate
  • Cooked bones (Can splinter and cause gastrointestinal lacerations)
  • Garlic / Onions
  • Grapes / Raisins / Currants
  • Alcohol
  • Human Medicines – Paracetamol etc
  • Dairy Products
  • Avocado
  • Caffeine
  • Mushrooms
  • Numerous types of nuts

Socialisation

When you take home your puppy at around 8 weeks old it is important to socialise your puppy to as much as possible in order to set them up for life. Up to 16 weeks, there is a limited window of opportunity to expose them to everything they will experience later in life. Once your puppy is fully vaccinated this can be continued to outside areas. The goal is to create positive experiences so the puppy will not be fearful when they encounter similar experiences in the future. Expose them to as much as possible; people, children, other dogs, animals, traffic, helmets, noises, smells and even the clinic here!

It is also a good time to get your pets used to being handled and examined. This will help you be able to perform regular treatments such as cleaning ears, clipping nails and grooming. It will also mean your pet is less likely to be stressed when they are in with us for health checks as they will be accustomed to having their ears felt etc.

Training

Training your puppy should begin once you bring your little furry one home for the first time. It can be stressful for them the first night away from their mother and siblings and it is not uncommon for them to cry. Whilst we can do our best to comfort them, try to avoid practices which should not continue in the future such as letting them sleep in your bed! A lot of new owners will tend to treat their pets like children, and even though they will always be our babies, the psychology of a canine and a human are really worlds apart! Training requires time and effort, but it will really make a difference in the long run. An untrained dog can be a danger to both others and itself. Mistakes and accidents will happen so be persistent and patient! Begin with house training and progress from there. There are many resources online and in libraries to help, but be wary of harmful or outdated methods. The use of positive reinforcement is recommended as it is not damaging to the dog or indeed the bond between pet and guardian. Everyone in the house needs to be on the same page with training for it to be effective or else have one person take charge of the training. If you are experiencing difficulties or need advice, contact us here at the clinic and we will try to help.

Insurance

Unfortunately there may be times during your pet’s life where they become ill or hurt. As we see only too often, these times are stressful for pet owners. Worrying about the expenses involved can also add to this already horrible time, thus we recommend taking out insurance for your pet to avoid this additional worry.

As our pets get older, they will begin to experience problems much like us such as arthritis and heart problems. Other pets may suffer from conditions for the majority of their lives such as skin problems or neurological problems amongst others.

Most conditions can be managed successfully but may require ongoing medications. There are numerous medicines available to help your pet live a comfortable and enriched life. We, as pet owners, can make a significant difference to their lives. An insurance policy can help with the financial aspect of ongoing medications.

Most insurance policies differ from company to company. Most will not cover routine procedures, such as neutering or dental work, or preventative treatments, such as worm treatments or vaccinations.

Pre-existing conditions will not be covered thus it is important to take out the policy when they are still a puppy. Whichever provider you choose, check what is covered and what you are paying for.

Nutrition and Weight Management

Good nutrition is so important for your pet’s health and wellbeing. There is a vast range of diet options for your pet and with information coming from all angles it can be hard to know what to feed. An good quality diet will improve energy, skin and coat, dental health and stool consistency.

Pet obesity is also one of the biggest problems facing dogs and cats today. Nine times out of ten this is because of more calories going in versus out. Being overweight predisposes cats and dogs to many medical issues including diabetes, arthritis and heart and lung conditions, not to mention slowing your pet down and leaving them lethargic.

If you are struggling to get your pet to lose weight, get in touch with us. We can rule out underlying metabolic conditions causing weight problems and advise on an appropriate diet to help your pet lose weight safely.

We stock a full range of Royal Canin diets, who have examined the needs of cats and dogs according to their size, age, activity levels and lifestyle as well as for specific medical conditions.

As a result, they have developed dozens of diets so that your pet receives the right levels of energy and nutrition, no matter what stage of life they’re at. There are a number of health conditions in which a specialised diet is a vital part of treatment, such as kidney, bladder or liver disease as well as skin and gastrointestinal conditions.

Given all this variety there is no one size fits all! We would be happy to discuss your pets individual dietary requirements with you.

Pet Passports

Did you know that you need an EU Pet Passport if you’re planning on bringing pets such as dogs, cats and ferrets across EU borders – even between Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK?

The pet travel scheme was introduced to protect people from the threat of diseases such as rabies. It also means that animals with pet passports don’t have to be quarantined, as prior to the scheme being introduced pets entering Ireland would have to be quarantined for six months before being reunited with their families.

There are some essential criteria for getting an EU Pet Passport:

  • Your pet must be microchipped (this is mandatory for dogs in Ireland under the Microchipping Of Dogs Legislation 2016).
  • A rabies vaccination must be given at last 21 days prior to the intended date of travel. Rabies titres (blood tests to show the vaccination has successfully induced immunity) are no longer required.

Although the minimum age for sale of a puppy or kitten is 8 weeks, if being sold abroad the animal must be a minimum of 15 weeks old prior to being exported. This is because:

  • The earliest it can be vaccinated for rabies is at 12 weeks
  • The animal is only able to travel 21 days (3 weeks) after that vaccination

Dogs must also be treated for the tapeworm echinococcus unless travelling into Ireland directly from another echinococcus-free country i.e. the UK, Malta, Finland and Norway. This treatment must be given between 24 and 120 hours (i.e. one to five days) prior to travel back to Ireland.

For older animals that have already been vaccinated the 21 day period does not apply to revaccinations/booster vaccinations, provided there has been no break in vaccination history.

Rabbits and other small mammals do not require a passport. In most circumstances a veterinary health certificate, issued a few days prior to travel, is sufficient, however if you have any queries please contact us and we will be happy to help.

If you intend on travelling further afield please contact the practice. We have assisted in preparing animals for transport to Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and USA, and are always happy to assist with any queries you may have.

Saying Goodbye

All of the staff here at Beaufield understand the significant impact pets can have on our lives. They become members of our family, the relationships we form and the memories we create are truly unique and ours to cherish.

We, as guardians, dedicate so much to provide a healthy and fulfilling life for our pets.

Unfortunately, death is also a part of life we must all accept but it is also the last opportunity we have to help them. We, as veterinary professionals, are fortunate that we can help to provide this through humane euthanasia. This is a painless and minimally invasive procedure which allows for us to end any suffering which your pet may be enduring and also allows us, as pet owners, to be with our friends until the end.

It is very important to us here at Beaufield to help as much as possible to give our friends a peaceful send-off when the time eventually comes. Please know that this time is not easy to recognise and that we are always available to help you through any difficult times when you need advice.

Contact us at the clinic to and we will do our best to accommodate your requests, offer advice or help in any way we can.

With regard to remains, we offer a cremation service through the Irish pet crematorium, where you will have the option to get your pet’s ashes back to keep.

The crematorium offers a variety of options for storing the ashes such as tribute boxes, caskets, or scatter tubes which can be scattered over a place both you and your pet enjoyed.

Please see for the list of products available here.

It is perfectly normal for us to grieve for a pet in the same way we would a loved one or family member. Everyone will process grief differently and sometimes people will struggle to move on. There can be many reasons for this and we understand how difficult it can be. Other people will not be able to comprehend the loss we feel as they won’t understand the bonds formed between Guardian and pet and this can lead to a lack of support we are normally afforded in times of loss.

It is important to know that struggling with grief is not uncommon and there is help available. As well as numerous articles online and websites dedicated to pet bereavement, counselling may be of benefit for some. Should you need someone to talk to, we at Beaufield will do our best to lend an ear and offer any support we can.