A pet might seem like the perfect Christmas present, but PDSA, the UK’s leading veterinary charity, is advising anyone considering buying a pet at this time of year to ‘paws’ and reconsider.
‘Buying a pet as a surprise present will almost inevitably end in disaster’, says PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Elaine Pendlebury. ‘The new owner may not be prepared for how much time and responsibility is involved, how much money it will cost, and how the animal will affect their lifestyle.’
Puppies and kittens are especially demanding, requiring supervision and training constantly in the early stages of their life. The decision to own a pet shouldn‚t be made on behalf of someone else, as the commitment can be just too much for anyone not properly prepared for pet ownership.
In addition, introducing a new pet into the Christmas environment can be very distressing. During the festive season, there is likely to be more noise and activity in the house than usual which will scare many pets. New pets need lots of peace and quiet to help them settle in.
If you know someone who is keen to own a pet, the best idea is to buy them a book about their preferred animal. Then, when they do take on a new pet they will be prepared and ready to care for its needs!
Deciding to own a pet means making a commitment to care for the animal for the rest of its life. It is almost impossible to make that decision for someone else. Animals cannot decide where to live and rely on us to make the right decisions for them.