We’ve all heard the saying before – a pet is for life, not just for Christmas – but how many of us actually pay attention?
In 2019, the RSPCA took in over 10,500 dogs and 29,432 cats – many of which thought to be abandoned by pet owners who couldn’t, or simply didn’t want to, look after them. Many of these animals will have been bought for children and family members across the festive season, families that will have been unprepared for the commitment it takes to look after a living creature.
Whether it’s for financial reasons, domestic reasons or because the animal became too much work, pet abandonment is a serious problem across the UK. You can play your part by ensuring you carefully research the breed of dog or cat you’re taking in, and understanding the time and financial cost that adopting is actually made up of.
Cats, dogs and other pets all deserve respect and care from their owners – and a commitment that lasts well beyond Christmas and onto the rest of their lives.
Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with getting a puppy, kitten, dog, cat or senior pet for Christmas as long as everyone involved is aware of the responsibility they’re taking on.
So if you are planning on gifting someone a pet this Christmas, here are four ways you can ensure they get the best welcome possible:
- No surprises
Never, ever surprise someone with a pet at Christmas time. If someone who doesn’t want a pet or is even just slightly unsure, gifting them an animal will just end up with the animal going back to the shelter. Always be clear – it may be less fun, but it is always the sensible choice.
- Take the pet to the vet
Before you gift a pet, always make sure you take them to the vets for a full check up and a vaccination. Gifting a sick animal is a bad idea and can cause a lot more trouble if the recipient is unaware. Also ensure cats or dogs are spayed and neutered.
- Gift appropriately
When the time comes on the big day to gift the cat or puppy, there are several things you need to take into consideration. If placing the pet in a box, always remember airholes and never wrap the animal in wrapping paper. When the ‘unwrapping’ is underway, be sure to have readily available exits – the noise and excitement can be distressing for animals, especially younger ones.
- Get supplies
The recipient’s new furry friend will need a lot of other bits and bobs when you gift them to someone. Be sure to buy food, leashes, collars, carriers, bowls and toys so that the pet can easily settle into their new life. Don’t forget a bed too so that they can carve out their own special corner of the room for themselves.
If you’re looking for a brand new dog or cat bed for your Christmas pet, here at Pet Prestige, we’ve got a wide range of luxury dog beds and cat beds to fit the needs of most breeds. From hooded dog beds to igloo cat beds, we can help your festive pet settle in right from day one.
Find out more on the Pet Prestige website.