Should you Buy your Kds a Pet for Christmas?
Most people, young or old have fantasized about either getting or buying a pet for Christmas. A cute puppy or kitten with a big red bow on its head! But is it really a good idea? Here are some pros and cons and some other things to consider before buying yourself or your child a pet for Christmas.
Hopefully, you’ve already had conversations about owning a pet and have done your research about what type of animal you’d like, what their needs are, and who is the primary caregivers of the pet.
If you’ve never owned a dog before it’s a good idea to visit shelters, talk to the caregivers of the animals, ask questions. Perhaps you have a friend with a dog you can dog sit for, or visit, or maybe even offer to take for an occasional walk. Dogs are wonderful companions but require a lot of attention and care. Ongoing costs include food, shots, grooming, flea medicine, toys and bedding. It can add up. Make sure you’re prepared to be their owner and friend for 10 plus years.
Type of Pet
Do you want a large dog? Small Dog? In between-sized dog? How much room do you have for a larger dog? Do you have a nice-sized yard that is enclosed that will keep the dog from getting out? Will it be inside or outside, or both? Smaller dogs need more guidance. You do not want them outside by themselves where they can get out of small openings or be targeted by predatory animals. Large hawks can easily spot a small dog as prey, and if you are in a rural or outside of city limits there are coyotes and other predators that can be dangerous for your pup. Even if in the city limits other larger dogs can be a threat, and cars of course too, if your dog gets out.
These are some of the things to consider when choosing a dog for a pet.
Pets, particularly cats and dogs have basic care needs. You must determine how much food is healthy for their size and weight. Some pets have food allergies and require special diets. They must always have water available. Dogs need to be taken out several times a day to relieve themselves. Daily walks are fun and good for both dog and owner. Cats are independent but need attention as well and love to play. They also need clean litterboxes. They should be cleaned out regularly to keep the kitty happy. Both dogs and cats can benefit from and need professional grooming. Dogs need their fur cut and depending on the breed may need their anal glands expressed. Getting their nails trimmed is usually a part of the grooming. A good veterinarian should check out your pet once you have them, and schedule yearly appointments to keep them up to date with vaccinations and to review their overall health. Be sure to spay and neuter your animal, it extends their lives and prevents them from cancer and other health issues (see AHF).
Dogs can live 10 to 13 or more years and cats can live 10 to 15 or more. Be prepared to be their caretaker for at least this amount of time if not longer. It will not be hard to accept this commitment once you bond and fall in love with them. Our furry family members are just that; family members, and it’s a wonderful experience to have them in our lives. They give us as much love as we have for them.
Just be sure it is right for you and your family before you take the leap.