The Christmas holiday is a very popular one when it comes to adding a furry family member. Puppies and kittens are often on a child’s wish list, or for adults who want animal companionship. This is a great idea if well thought out and planned for!
We’d like to offer a few tidbits of advice to anyone out there looking to add a pet to their home.
- First, particularly if you are considering a dog, make some determinations about what breed will best-fit your lifestyle. Animal Planet’s Breed Selector is a great interactive tool you may find useful. Get feedback from family and friends, and be honest with yourself. Is a boxer the right choice if you’re a couch potato? Probably not! Make sure to think through this part carefully, and do your research about the types of dogs you think you want to make sure they will be right for you.
- Remember a pet is a lifetime commitment! Please don’t get pets as gifts for others, and only get a pet if you’re committed to living with it for at least 10 – 20 years, depending on the type of pet. Consider the costs and time involvement for the pet: feedings, grooming, vet bills, pet sitter/walker costs or daycare costs, training, shelter and bedding, and other incidentals. It’s important to be realistic about these needs and how you can meet them for the long-term.
- Adopt rather than shop. Pet stores are notoriously bad for getting puppies from puppy mills, and they aren’t healthy or ethical in this sense. If you opt for a breeder, do your research and make sure you know the environment from which the pup was culled. If someone wants to meet you rather than have you come over, that’s a red light to be concerned that the conditions aren’t good! Likewise, online ads can be a bad source of poorly-raised and bred animals and shouldn’t be supported by your dollars! We think the best option is to save a life by adopting a shelter pet. There are many great mixes and purebreds, and you will be amazed at how many awesome animals there are in your local shelter. Search Petfinder.com to find all kinds of shelter and rescue dogs available for adoption.
- Make appropriate introductions with the rest of the family when you bring your pet home. Be patient with your pet. Remember puppies need boundaries and consistency to succeed. If you have other animals, don’t neglect them and include them in activities so they know they’re still special, and make sure to make proper introductions on their terms. Forcing introductions between animals is very counter-productive. Here are some great tips on introducing dogs and cats to your new home. Likewise, make sure children are supervised at all times around your pets and teach them how to interact appropriately. Tugging on ears and tails, staring at animals, and other rough play can equal disaster. Safety for your child and pets is important!
We wish you the best of success with your new furry family member! And if we can be of any help with training, walking or sitting needs, please contact us.
Thank you and happy holidays!
Owner, Delightful Doggies