Hey, fellow pet lovers!
Christmas is fast approaching and everyone’s festive spirits are high, I’m sure if you have any little ones in the family at some point the talk of a pet as a Christmas present may have come up? If this is the case, then today’s blog post is a must-read as a lot of people get a pet for a loved one at Christmas and this, unfortunately, doesn’t always end well.
Let’s jump straight in and learn why pets are for life and not just for Christmas!
Pets aren’t just for Christmas; they’re for life! 🌲
Today’s post is a fairly upsetting one despite being filled with festive spirits and good intentions. Every year people buy their partners, children or even themselves pets for Christmas only to realise that it isn’t what they expected and it’s too big of a commitment for them to take on. While writing this post, I came across some sad statistics, and I hope you lovely pet lovers will share today’s post to help inform potential pet owners to think twice before getting a pet as a Christmas present. However, it isn’t always a bad idea to do so, and there are plenty of responsible owners out there who get a pet at Christmas or as a gift and in fact, I was one of these people.
Back in December 2015 I was hunting for a Border Terrier pup and was struggling since most breeders tend to stay away from breeding pups that will be ready for Christmas, due to the issues we are going to talk about in today’s post. My partner asked me what I would like for Christmas, and I wanted to get Nia a little friend so said I would love a puppy, amazingly he agreed, and we started hunting for a little girl BT. Just after Christmas we found a small litter of three pups and contacted the breeder, cutting a long story short we got little Lily and brought her home on the 6th of January 2016.
Though there have been many times when she has driven me crazy! I would never consider rehoming her or even worse, leaving her stranded because I couldn’t deal with the stress and responsibilities of having a pet. Some of you might remember a blog post I wrote earlier in 2018 which was all about questions to ask yourself before getting a pet? This post is very relevant to today’s post, and I plan to recap on a few of these fundamental questions. Even though today’s post is mainly focused on our canine friends, it still applies when getting a kitten or cat as a gift at Christmas, every pet matters and no matter what you opt for your taking on a massive responsibility.
So where do we start?
On the 6th of November this year The Dogs Trust released their Christmas advert; A Dog is for life, not just for Christmas. As well as this thought-provoking advert, they also mentioned some scary statistics which reveals people need to think more about getting a pet before taking the plunge. Shockingly, The Dogs Trust received nearly 5,000 calls between the 26th of December 2017 to the 31st of January 2018, from members of the public wanting to hand over their dog.
That’s 138 calls per day!!!
I can only imagine this year is going to be the same if not worse, but hopefully, I will be proven otherwise!! People need to remember a puppy is hard work and won’t always stay that adorable little ball of fluff that enticed you into getting a dog in the first place. Having a pet means taking on a massive responsibility, cleaning up pees and poos daily, taking your pet out on daily walks, ensuring your pup is socialised with other pets and even taking them to training classes if necessary.
These are a few of the many things a responsible pet owner needs to do and having a pet requires a lot of time and financial commitment. The holidays are so lovely spending time with friends and family, listening to Christmas music, eating excellent food and decorating the tree, that it can be tough to say no when asked by your child or partner if they can have a furry friend this Christmas?
The harsh truth is, that sometimes saying no is better for everyone!
If your child asks for a pet this Christmas you need to think about every little detail before giving your final decision, like is someone going to be in at certain times to let your pet out to the toilet? Have you got enough time to take them out on daily walks and provide them with adequate exercise? And lastly, have you got the extra money to pay for all your pets needs? The list could go on and on… Below I am going to mention a few questions every potential pet owner should ask themselves before getting a pet, whether that be a cat dog, puppy or kitten. You must be sure you can provide a pet with all their needs as well as making sure that bringing a pet into your household is the right decision.
Can I afford a pet?
The first question to ask yourself is can I afford a pet?
Having a pet is a serious financial commitment and something you must think about before you get a pet is, can I afford to do so? Having a pet can be very expensive as you must pay for insurance, food, toys, grooming products and vet check-ups. Before getting a pet, you should look at your finances and work out if you have enough money to pay for all your pets needs each month.
Do I have enough time for a pet?
Having a pet takes up so much of your time, you need to take them on daily walks if you get a dog, feed them, play with them and just spend quality time with them every day. Personally, spending time with my girls is when I’m at my happiest but if you’re a super busy person and are at work for long hours each day, then getting a pet may not be the right thing to do.
Why do I want a pet?
This is such an important question to ask yourself, my partner and I wanted to get Nia because we lost Freya, and life was missing something without a pooch. Then we wanted to get Lily because we thought it would be good for Nia to have a little friend to grow up alongside. The answer to this question is going to be different for every potential pet owner, but it is so crucial that you ask yourself this question. If it isn’t you that wants a pet and it’s your partner or child, are they going to take responsibility for the pet they want, or are you going to end up having to take care of a pet you didn’t want?
Are you ready to commit to your pet for the rest of their life?
Unfortunately, it’s very clear from the statistics above that the majority of new pet owners aren’t prepared to stick it out and commit to their pets for the rest of their little lives, and this is heartbreaking! If you have thoroughly thought everything through, then you have committed to your pet during the good and the bad, no matter what situation arises. However, most people don’t think this essential decision through anywhere near enough, and that results in so many pets needing to be rehomed each year. These are four questions from my previous blog post, and to read the rest follow the link, Questions to ask yourself before getting a pet?
How can you test the waters before getting a pet?
I hope that this blog post helps anyone who is thinking about getting a pet or has been asked by a loved one if they can have a four-legged friend this Christmas. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do before deciding to take the plunge and bringing a canine or feline friend into your life over the festive season.
Ask a friend or family member if you can lend their dog for the weekend?
One thing that would help decrease the number of calls from new pet owners saying they no longer want their canine friend, is asking a friend or family member if you can lend their pooch for a weekend to see if having a dog around is the right option for you. This way, you can see what it would be like to have a dog around the house without a lifelong commitment.
Foster a pooch before adopting or getting a pup.
Another option is to foster a pet before deciding to adopt or get a puppy or kitten. Fostering a pet is a great thing to do because you’re helping a pet in need while seeing if having a pet is right for you. People who rush into getting a pet, with little thought usually are making a massive mistake that has an effects so many people’s lives. By bringing a pet into your home only to realise that it isn’t the right option means so much unnecessary stress for your self, your family and also the poor innocent pet. Let’s help charities like; The Dogs Trust this Christmas by sharing today’s post and informing potential pet owners to consider if getting a pet is the right thing to do. And help to decrease the number of pets who are handed over to local kennels, charities and canine or feline organisations each year.
Nia & Lily 💓
Together we can make a difference; #ADogIsForLife
I hope everyone enjoyed today’s post and to help spread the message that a pet is for life and not just for Christmas either share today’s post or post a picture of your dog and use the hashtag #ADogIsForLife. If you enjoyed today’s post, then let me know by hitting that like button and giving it a share so other pet lovers or potential owners can learn about these all-important questions to ask yourself before getting a pet. This Saturday’s post is all about various foods that should be avoided for our canine and feline friends this Christmas so stick around for that.