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You Better Think Twice Before Giving a Pet This Christmas!

We adore animals with all of our hearts and souls at Ourimbah Vet! 

Little puppies and kittens are simply irresistible,
golden oldies are just the sweetest,
not to mention rabbits and guinea pigs with their cute little button noses,
rats and mice have the tiniest little whiskers and
birds they’re so vibrant and sing the most delightful tunes.

We could talk for hours about how amazing and unconditionally loving each and every single animal is!

BUT

All pets no matter how large or small come with HUGE responsibilities- They are a lifelong commitment.

Owning a pet is a privilege not a right!

With Christmas almost here there’s no better time to talk about the lifelong responsibilities that come with pet ownership that carefully need to be considered before giving a pet as a gift this Christmas.

Rescues and shelters sadly still see a large increase in the number of surrendered and dumped animals in the post holiday period which simply could be prevented if more research was done before acquiring the pet.

If you are seriously thinking of giving a pet this Christmas make sure the recipient is fully aware of the responsibility of owning a pet and on board 100%

Pets cost a lot of money over their lifetime and it starts from day they are adopted by their new family- bedding, toys, housing, good quality food, vaccinations, microchipping, training and behavioural needs, grooming, desexing and preventative products are just the beginning.  Any pet is at risk of being diagnosed with a long term illness or disease, in particular the ageing pet, which may require them to be on long term, costly medication- ensure the recipient is well equipped to be able to provide for an animal for their whole lifetime. It may well be worth considering boring things like taking out a pet insurance policy when first purchasing the pet.

Animals require a lot of time and training- particular species and breeds have a lot of energy so need a lot of training and exercise and plenty of room to move in and explore. Consider the size of the area the pet needs to move, research particular species and breeds and find our their energy level, grooming and dietary requirements, their personality and pre disposition to health concerns - are they are prone to having breathing and joint issues? Cardiac disease? or certain cancers?

How old is the recipient? 

Would a pet fit in to their life style easily right now (and into the future)? 

Is anyone at home throughout the day- will the animal be left alone for hours on end?

Who will look after it when they go on vacation- is pet minding affordable? 

Young children may not be able to handle or take on the responsibility of owning a pet and inadvertently injure the animal. Elderly people may not have the strength and energy to raise a young puppy- a boisterous pet could be quite risky for an elderly  person to live with. A common situation we see is when children move out of the family home their parents are left with the responsibility of caring for the pet, and although many parents or relatives are happy to take on this responsibility for others it may be a burden. 

Pocket pets- such as fish, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, budgies and rats- although relatively ‘cheap’ to buy initially, they also require veterinary treatment if they become sick and cost just as much as a cat or dog to visit the vet. They also require a lot of time, fresh food and water daily, regular cleaning of housing and a lot of TLC.

When considering gifting or owning a pet it takes a lot of planning and research to find the most suitable pet. It is important we consider the needs of the pet first and fore most!

Please contact our friendly staff if you have any question regarding the purchase and gifting of an animal.

Author: Sara Brock
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