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A Pet is for Life… not just for Christmas

boy cuddling dogThis is as true now as ever, particularly with the ease of acquiring puppies or adult dogs via the internet. Although some may be genuine, some will be stolen, illegally imported or puppy-farmed.  Their health and socialisation is often poor, leading to illness and behaviour problems.

HOWEVER, when considering gifts – for a year-round source of joy, companionship and health benefits, a pet might well be the answer.

Ground rules

1. Do your research thoroughly and involve ALL the family

Good information on the commitment involved and lifetime costs is available from thekennelclub.org.uk, dogstrust.org.uk, icatcare.org and rspca.org.uk. Consider the exercise and grooming needs of your chosen pet. We offer a free pre-purchase clinic to discuss your choices and how to prepare for your new arrival.

2. Choose a pet from a reliable source and make sure that, for youngsters, you see the mother and genuine home environment. Please use puppycontract.org.uk and the Kitten Checklist from www.thecatgroup.org.uk. When choosing a pre-loved pet, make sure that the rescue home is fully aware of your home circumstances.

3. Don’t get it at Christmas! There is far too much going on to be able to focus on your new arrival.

4. Never give pets to someone else without discussing it with them first.

Older relatives: many don’t want ‘things,’ but would appreciate practical help with caring for their beloved pet companions, such as a year’s Healthy Pet Club Membership, Vouchers for grooming or dog walking.

by Jacky Macqueen