’Tis the season to be merry and to enjoy all the wonderful things that go along with this time of year. Shopping can even be enjoyable if you are in the right frame of mind. Too often during this joyous season, some people tend to become overwhelmed by all there is to do and end up frustrated by the crowds, traffic and bad weather.
It is much easier and less stressful to plan your shopping sprees with your lists in hand and route of attack planned before leaving home. I do understand that sometimes you need to browse in order to get ideas for purchasing gifts for family and friends. However, the retail industry has mastered the art of impulse buying. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why the large retail stores don’t put the pharmacy with toiletries next to the grocery section. They want you to walk 100 yards through all the stuff you had no intention of buying!
Tis the season also for purchasing or adopting a new furry family member. Fortunately, this time of year is an excellent time to become a new pet owner or add to the number of pets you already have. It is a wonderful time for children to get a new pet for Christmas and to have those memories forever.
However, impulse buying or adopting a pet suddenly, without preparation, is never a good idea. Anytime you are considering getting a new pet, the selection process should include some research and preparation for the new arrival. This can help prevent some surprises and behavioral problems in the future for the pet.
Prior consultation will help you select the best pet for your household, but also provide information on how to prepare in advance. The primary reason that pet owners might one day need to relinquish their pet is because of the unrealistic expectations they had when they first entered into pet ownership.
Therefore, before getting started, be certain you understand the time, commitment and expense you will be undertaking over the next 15 to 20 years.
While pet ownership has numerable benefits, it also comes with tremendous responsibilities. Don’t think unrealistically. Keep in mind, all kittens have claws and all puppies have needle sharp teeth. Pets can be very destructive and can certainly challenge your patience. Truly, although house breaking can be difficult enough, it is not all there is to raising a new puppy.
Where do you start? It all depends on whether you have had a pet previously. Were you pleased with your previous pet? It depends on what purpose you wish the pet to serve. Also, it depends on the household, whether there are children, or if the pet is going to be primarily indoors or outdoors. Some people already know if they would prefer a dog or a cat. Dogs require a level of training, exercise, house training and outdoor activities that are not required by most cats. However, dogs may present a greater challenge for supervision and preventing household damage. In general, cats require less attention when it comes to taking care of them, such as feeding and exercise.
Also, consider your support system during times of illness or vacation to insure that you will have sufficient care for your pet. Seek guidance from your veterinarian about obtaining a pet that is suitable for your home, family and lifestyle, and how to prepare your home for the arrival of your new pet. Once you decide upon the species (dog or cat), the next decision is whether to obtain a purebred or a mixed breed. With a mixed breed, some of the genetic problems associated with inbreeding may be avoided and the initial cost to acquire the pet will be considerably lower.
However, the best way to predict the behavioral and physical attributes of an adult dog or cat is to obtain a purebred from known parentage. Unless the parents are known it is difficult to predict the size, health or behavior that is likely to emerge as the pet grows up. However, not all purebred pets are what they seem. Although there are plenty of reputable breeders, there are also plenty who are substandard and unacceptable. It is always a good idea to gain as much information about the breeder as you can. You should always visit the breeder’s home or kennel to determine how well-kept the pets are.
The normal adoptable age of pets is around 6 to 8 weeks. Customarily, most pets have already been vaccinated and de-wormed at least once by the breeder prior to being adopted. Ideally, any adoptable pet should be accompanied by written proof of vaccinations as well as proof of veterinary examination.
The bottom line is that you should never “impulse buy” when purchasing or adopting a new pet. You should always research and prepare for a new pet in order to get the right puppy or kitten for your home.
Don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian for advice to ensure your new pet lives a long, healthy and happy life.