Why Pets are not just for Christmas

Christmas is a great time of the year full of joy and happiness, it is a time to give and appreciate the ones you love. A lot of people like to get a new pet around Christmas time to welcome to the family. However getting a new pet requires lots of thought and input from all the family. In this article we will discuss why you should have another think about what to give for Christmas this year.

Getting a pet is a very big responsibility no matter the size of the pet. Whether it is a dog or a hamster they both still need lots of care and attention. Did you know hundreds of pets are abandoned after the Christmas period every year. This is because people didn't think about what they are taking on before buying the animal. Things you need to think about before bring any new pet into the family are:

- Can you afford it? Pets cost a lot of money, food, accommodation, vet bills, insurance, toys, training, etc, are all things you need to calculate for beforehand.

- Have you got the time? All pets require your time, if its a dog it will need walking, training and attention, if its a rabbit it will need cleaning regularly and exercise. If you work long hours or go on holiday a lot this may not be the right time for you.

- Who will look after them? if you plan on getting a pet for a child the likely hood is the novelty of it will wear off and then who will look after them? or similarly for an elderly person, you have to think ahead, getting a cat with a life span of 15-20 years what will happen to them if the owner gets ill or if they pass?

- Does everyone in the family agree on the decision? This is very important because if someone in your family is not happy then it is likely not to work out or will cause tension in the home which is not a nice environment to bring an animal into.

- What is someone is allergic? Have you spent time around this species before bringing one home? you may find your'e allergic to them and have to give them up anyway.

- Is now the right time? Christmas is a very busy time of year, lots of people, lots of time spent out shopping for present, cold weather. Bringing a new pet home is a very stressful time in their lives so you need to minimise the stress by choosing a suitable time to bring the home.

- Have you done your research? If you have not owned this species or breed before do your research you may be trying to take on more than you can handle.

These are the main things you need to consider before getting a new family member, as you can see this is not just a quick decision, it takes time and lots of conversations between the family beforehand. My advice is get the Christmas period out of the way, make the decision in the new year and do your research, remember there is no need to rush. You never know you may find the perfect pet in your local shelter that was someone else's Christmas present.

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