A PET IS NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS
A pet is not just for Christmas.It is estimated that more than one-in-five puppies or kittens given as Christmas presents will ultimately be handed into shelters as unsuitable.
If you are thinking about buying a pet for Christmas, ask yourself a few questions before making this big decision.
Am I ready for a commitment?
Owning a pet is a lifetime commitment. The average dog lives for 13 years. The average lifespan for a cat is 15 years but they can live into their twenties.
Do I have the time?
Be honest, do you have the time to devote to looking after a pet? They are similar to babies in the time and energy they demand. They can not be left alone for hours. They need to be house trained and they also need play time, including socialisation with other animals.
Am I financially ready?
Really consider whether you have enough disposable income to pay for a pet’s needs. Vaccinations, spaying, neutering , food, toys , cattery or unexpected vet appointments and surgeries aren’t easy on the wallet.
Will my lifestyle still accommodate a dog or cat in five to fifteen years?
Think about the future. Do you own your home, or do you rent?Does your tenancy agreement allow you to keep pets? Are you planning to move away in the next couple of years? Make sure to take all those factors into consideration before getting a cat or dog.
Is Christmas really a good time to get a new pet?
Christmas is always a very hectic time of the year with relatives and friends arriving. Unusual noise, activities and extra demands upon the household can make it difficult for any pet to settle into their new homes.
Here are some tips to keep your pets safe and well over christmas.
DON’T feed your pet left overs from your Christmas meal. Poultry bones can get stuck or cause perforations, and rich food can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
DON’T feed your pets christmas cake or mince pies as raisins (and grapes) are toxic. Some dogs can eat quite a few grapes or raisins without any obvious side effects, others can eat just a few and suffer fatal kidney failure.
DON’T feed your pet chocolate, it’s another potential toxin. (For more information see our winter poisons post.)
DON’T leave pets unattended around your Christmas tree. Pets love playing and chewing with bright shiny objects, including fairy light wires. Electrocution or gastro-intestinal blockages could occur.
DO ensure that your pets have someone quiet they can take themselves off to, if you are expecting lots of guests.
DO ensure your pets are microchipped so they can be identified. They may get cold in winter weather or scared by Christmas festivities and seek shelter in unlikely places. Don’t leave your pets unattended outside- they can be quickly stolen leading up to christmas time and sold on. keep them safe and well and in your sight
DO wrap up short haired dogs, (and those that are young or old), with dog jackets, if you are out walking in very cold weather.
DO wash your dog’s feet if they have been walking on gritted pavements. The salt can be very irritant to their paws.
DON’T allow pets near frozen ponds or canals. However often people are warned of the dangers, nearly every year fatalities (both animal and human) occur.
DON’T GIVE PETS AS PRESENTS! A dog is for life, not just for Christmas. <3 <3