With all of the excitement of Christmas looming, it can be easy to get swept away with whimsical festivities and decide that it is the perfect time to surprise your loved one with a pet. We do however know that pounds and shelters are inundated with unwanted pets by February and March every year, with statistics showing that the peak in surrenders is attributed to regrettable Christmas-gifted animals.

To assist in putting a stop to overwhelmed shelters and underwhelmed pet owners, here are our top three recommendations to consider before taking the plunge and buying a cute and cuddly kitten or pup for under the tree this year.

Prepare your loved one

  • While it may take away the element of surprise, it is crucial to make sure your recipient does actually want to commit the next 10-20 years of their life caring for a new fur-baby
  • Discuss at length the roles and responsibilities pet ownership entails with children and adults alike
  • Offer research and fact sheets to explain the dietary, exercise and social requirements of the breed you have purchased
  • Consider the financial commitment your recipient will be undertaking – the cost of food, medications, immunisations, insurance and vet care is for the duration of the animals life, not just at Christmas time

Prepare your home

  • Christmas day can be chaotic – discarded wrapping paper, ribbon and string can prove hazardous to young cats and dogs
  • Reduce overwhelming your new addition by ensuring they are introduced to a calm and quiet environment
  • Keep visitors to a minimum and be sure you are present for the entire day to help your new pet adjust to their new home
  • Be sure to purchase all necessary items like bedding, little trays, chew toys and leashes prior to gifting the new pet – your new puppy or kitten will need to become familiar with their sleeping/pooping/feeding arrangements from day one.
  • Make sure you maintain the same diet the breeder has been feeding at least for the first few days. Then if you wish to change the food wean across over several days.

Prepare your pet

  • Research important facts about the breed you are considering such as size, exercise requirements, shedding, social preferences to ensure you are committing to the ideal pet for your recipient
  • Be knowledgeable about immunisation schedules, training schools in your area, recommended foods and a local vet.
  • Consider meeting several times with your new addition prior to gifting them to become familiar with their temperament and personality. Accredited breeders should be able to give you a detailed family history and a description of your pet’s parents. Where possible visit the breeder, see where the pet has been raised and meet the parents. If you are rescuing a pet from a shelter or rehoming facility (good for you!) meeting with your pet over several sessions and chatting with your facilitator should give you a better understanding of their history, personality and temperament.

If you have researched your options, decided on the ideal breed and made all preparations for the arrival of your festive fur-baby, the only this left to do is to book in your first check up at Direct Vet Services. You can call us today to discuss your best options for Christmas gifted-pets or make your first appointment via our online booking system. See you soon!