It is our pleasure to introduce you to the Vetcare Group – a group of New Zealand’s finest Vet clinics who are passionate about pets and their wellbeing that have been brought together by Animates New Zealand.

This exciting development brings with it more benefits for you, not only do you have a range of great clinics to choose from, but you will now also be able to gain Friends for Life rewards and exclusive specials! 

You may already be familiar with the Friends for Life program as it has been available in all Animates retail stores for several years. If you’re not already a Friends for Life member at your Vetcare Group vet clinic or at any Animates store, simply join at www.friendsforlife.co.nz

Yes! You can purchase from thousands of products online at www.animates.co.nz and also find some exclusive online specials. Animates also stocks vet prescription products and has a wide range of products including; Superior nutritional food and flea and worming products

Friends For Life is a loyalty programme where you can earn points at the Vetcare Group clinics and Animates stores nationwide on your purchase to gain rewards. PLUS, you can earn bonus points to reach your rewards faster, get exclusive member only offers and invitations to special events. Another benefit of being a member is our Frequent Feeder Program - Buy 10 bags of Superior Nutrition cat or dog food and get your 11th bag FREE (bags must be same brand and size to qualify - excludes Nutro).

For more information visit www.friendsforlife.co.nz

The WOF for your pet To ensure your pet is happy and healthy you should get a Wellness Check once a year - we will listen to any concerns you have and then your Vet will do a nose to tail examination which could include:

  • Checking eyes, nose, teeth and skin
  • Listening to heart
  • Palpating the abdomen
  • Taking temperature
  • Clipping nails
  • Checking body weight

During that visit they will also update your pet with any vaccinations they need which act as a preventative measure against diseases - we highly recommend getting your pet vaccinated every year.


Why Vaccinate? - keeping your pet healthy and happy It’s important to protect your loved pet from certain conditions and diseases. All young animals can have a course of vaccinations starting at 8 weeks but it’s never too late to start a vaccination program. Talk to your Vet clinic for more advice about vaccinations for your pet.  

Cat Vaccinations  First vaccination for kittens is around 8 or 9 weeks of age, second vaccination is three to four weeks later to cover:

  • Feline Panleucopaenia Virus (FPLV)
  • Feline Viral Rhinopneumonitis (FVR)  - Feline Herpes Virus (FHV) 
  • Viral 'Cat Flu' - Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

We also recommend vaccinating for Feline immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

Your cat should be kept up to date with yearly vaccinations once the intial course is completed.  

Dog Vaccinations First vaccination for puppies is around 8 weeks of age, unless they have been vaccinated prior. The second and third vaccination are at around 12 and 15 weeks to cover:

  • Parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Leptospirosis 
  • Kennel cough

Your dog should be kept up to date with all other yearly vaccinations once these are completed. 

Other Pets Most pets need regular vaccinations to ensure they are healthy and preventing any diseases they could catch - contact your local clinic to check what vaccinations your pet needs. 

You can beat the flea cycle Fleas can live on all your furry friends including your puppy, kitten, cats, dogs, and rabbits and are a common problem even for the most pampered pet. While the irritation of fleas is usually more noticeable in spring and summer, fleas can stay active all year round, even in winter if you have a warm, dry house for them to thrive in!  

How does your pet get fleas? Adult fleas lay eggs on the coat of cats and dogs. A single female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day! These eggs then fall from the pets coat and into your environment like the garden or carpet, this is why treating your pets AND your environment is the only way to ensure you have broken the cycle.  

The flea cycle These eggs go from the larvae to pupae stage and when the temperature is just right, will hatch out. Adult fleas will find something warm like your pet and immediately bite and feed. The cycle will continue when they find a mate to breed and produce more eggs.  

The best solution for avoiding fleas is simply all year round protection. This will ensure you and your home stay flea free every day of the year.Flea bites can cause your pets skin irritation. Heavy flea infestations can cause serious problems for your puppy including anaemia in young or sick dogs. Dogs can also develop severe allergies to flea bites (called Flea Allergic Dermatitis). Just one flea bite will be enough to set off days of scratching, loss of fur and cause skin sores which can be a very painful experience for your puppy and can leave you feeling helpless.  

Flea Protection It is essential that you choose a flea protection program that is effective and safe for your pet and environment that will ensure every life cycle of the flea is treated from eggs to larvae to pupae and to adult fleas.Animates has a wide range of the best flea treatment for your puppy. From Flea collars, to flea shampoos and powders, flea combs and sprays you can ask our friendly staff in your local vet clinic for more information on how you can beat the flea cycle. Tip: Fleas will spend 75% of their life in your pet’s environment. If you’re treating your pet for fleas but not your environment, those fleas will keep hatching and latching onto your pet!  

Worming  Prevention is the key and pets need to be regularly treated to prevent worms. There are a range of products available for worming your pet that your local veterinarian can help determine what is best for your pet. 

Some products available cover a wide range of parasites in one treatment, ensure you read the packaging carefully.  

Ticks Prevention is also the key also with ticks. The New Zealand cattle tick is the most common tick species found in New Zealand, if you believe your pet has ticks do not pull the tick off your pet, ensure you consult your local veternarian. Some products available cover a wide range of parasites in one treatment, ensure you read the packaging carefully.


For more tips on fleas, click here.

Should I get my pet Desexed? Every pet parent comes across the question of whether or not they should desex their pet. Our recommendation is that unless your intention is to breed pets it is our recommendation that all pets are desexed. There are a number of health benefits in having your pet desexed not to mention a decrease in in the number of unwanted puppies and kittens.

What is desexing? Desexing is the surgical removal of part of the reproductive organs in pets whilst under general anaesthetic. This is more commonly known as spaying or an ovariohysterectomy in female pets; the removal of both ovaries and the uterus. In male pet patients castration or neutering involves the removal of both testicles. 

When should I desex my pet? Ideally cats and dogs should be de-sexed at 6 months. However kittens can be de-sexed as early as 12 weeks  and puppies can be desexed from 5 months of age (if approved by your veterinarian). There are many health benefits in de-sexing your pet and you’re welcome to discuss your concerns with us. 

Why desex? There are many behavioural, social and medical benefits to desexing your pets.  Desexing helps to prevent unwanted pregnancies and litters in females, which in turn helps to reduce the number of homeless puppies and kittens in shelters. 

Spaying cats is important as it is not always possible to tell when they are in season. In dogs, desexing will stop their cycles and the associated bleeding and attention from male dogs that can result in unwanted pregnancy.

Desexing male pets helps control behavioural issues such as aggression problems and it also reduces a dogs need to wander in search of a mate. It also reduces the risk of prostatic diseases, perianal tumors and eliminates the risk of testicular cancers. Spaying females reduces the risk of mammary tumours and eliminates cancer of the ovaries, uterus and cervix. In both cats and dogs, desexing also helps to prevent the strong odour in urine and in most cases reduces or eliminates urinal spraying in cats. The medical benefits in desexing pets is significant. 

What is dental disease? Over 85% of all dogs and cats over 3 years of age will have some sign of dental disease.Dental disease is inflammation or infection of the tissues that surround and support the teeth. The first stage of dental disease is called gingivitis. This describes inflammation of the soft tissues and ligaments around a tooth - the gums. As gingivitis progresses, periodontal disease develops - this describes more advanced disease where there is bone loss around the tooth. 

What causes dental disease? Every time your pet eats, bacteria in the mouth feeding on food remnants  cause plaque to build up on the teeth. Within days plaques mineralises to form calculi on the teeth. As these calculi age, they create gum pockets and allow bacteria to infect and inflame the gums.

Yuck! So what are the signs of dental disease I should look for?

  • bad breath
  • drooling
  • decreased appetite
  • red or bleeding gums
  • stained teeth

When you bring your pet in, our vet nurse checks their teeth and discusses dental care options. These might include mouthwashes, diet, dental chews, teeth brushing. 

Our aim is to find a solution that works for you and your pet. Our nurse will grade the severity of any evident dental disease, and this can be applied to our dental pricing structure, so you can get an accurate quote from us for any dental treatment that might be required.

If your pet has low-grade dental disease this is a great time for them to have a scale and polish.

Our team of trained staff offer dietary advice and exercise regimes in conjunction with organised regular weight-ins to record your pet’s progress. A veterinary nurse discusses nutrition and exercise, measures and weighs your pets precisely, and then plans a programme and follow-up plan for weigh-ins and ongoing nutritional changes as require

Weight management in pets is essential to maintain good cardiac and respiratory health and as with humans the right diet will help alleviate the risk of diabetes in a safe and effective way.

Visit our news and articles section for preventative recommendations.


To learn more about pet obesity, click here.

Give yourself the peace of mind that in the event your pet should wander, you can now be assured your pet can be confidently identified with a microchip implant. Your pet can be microchipped and registered with the New Zealand companion Animal register.  While an ID pet tag on a collar can help with identification, this won’t work if the collar is accidentally or purposely removed. Microchipping assists with reuniting pets with their owners – talk to us about the advantages for you and your pet.

Hopefully we can help with the above FAQ's, if not contact us below to see if we can answer your question.
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