Winter is upon us and Christmas is fast approaching . Many of you will be tempted to buy a pet for Christmas. Sorry to disappoint you, but this is not a good idea. During the weeks following the holiday season , animal shelters undergo abnormal traffic. Many of these abandoned animals will never again be adopted and eventually they will be euthanized .
Here are some reasons why not to buy animals for Christmas.
Christmas time is not conducive to the adoption of a new pet. This period of the year involves a lot of back and forth commutes, trips and family dinners . In short, not much time to devote to welcoming and caring for a new pet.
Many parents make the acquisition of an animal with the idea that their children will take care of it. Big mistake! Do not count on your kids to pick up the poop , clean the litter box or wash the aquarium. When adopting an animal, a living under the same roof adult, must be responsible for the newcomer .
We often see children quickly grow tired of the toys they receive for Christmas
But an animal is for life. Once adopted, he becomes a member of the family. You can not get rid of the animal as you would get rid of a doll house for example. The family will certainly fall for the cute little puppy in the window. But keep in mind that the same little puppy will soon become a 6 month old full ball of energy with important needs .Adopting a cat is another story all together. A family who adopts a cat should expect to keep the animal at least 15 years, even more. We have seen many cats of well over 20 years of age at the clinic. You know what this means : many of these animals are going to still be at home when your kids leave the family nest.
Unlike an inanimate object which , once bought do not cost you anything, a pet is a recurring expense . Boarding, grooming , food, accessories , license, veterinary care …the list goes on.
An animal should never be bought on impulse and Christmas time is particularly stressful for parents . When we run out of ideas , it is easy to fall back on an animal. Especially a puppy with a Christmas ribbon around the neck, so cute ! The problem is that few people (including some sellers) know just how big your pet will get at adulthood , what will it look like and act like and finally what care will it need. In short , many people that buy animals around Christmas time, do not research their purchase and act on impulse. . A recipe for failure.
And what about a little less traditional pet like a parrot ? Often the only criteria when purchasing animals during Christmas time, is beauty. So you rush in and buy a Macaw or an African Grey because they are gorgeous without knowing the extensive and very costly care they require .
If you insist on buying a pet for your children first, give them a good book, a DVD or CD- ROM on the animal in question .This way , they will be able to discover it before the animal is integrated into the family unit. Later and still before your purchase, have a good discussion with them even if you know very well that it will still be on the shoulders of the parents to care for the animal. Introducing your children (when they grow older) to the responsibilities of owning a pet is a great life lesson to give your children and can truly become a life changing and positive experience but they must also know where each family member stands when it comes to meals, care, walks and potty training.
If after all this research , you still haven’t changed your mind…wait until the holiday madness is over and indulge yourself ! But consider giving a second chance to pets in shelters!
If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to contact a member of the medical team of the Clinic (514-634-4190) who will be happy to assist you.