10 tips before giving a pet at Christmas 

Christmas is nearing and everyone’s looking for that special gift for our loved ones. Giving a pet can seem like a good idea, especially if there are children in the family or an older person who stays alone a lot at home.

pets

29 October 2016

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However, a study by the Affinity Foundation reveals that in 2015 137,000 cats and dogs were abandoned in our country. Among the main causes for abandonment were the animal’s behaviour, unwanted litters, financial factors and moving house.

For this reason, before letting yourself be led by your emotions, the possibility of surprising a family member or the cute face of a puppy, here are 10 tips to keep in mind to give someone a pet responsibly.

1. Why do I want a pet?
It is very important to know what you expect from your animals and what you look for in them: company for an older person, to teach your children values, a sports companion… Knowing what you expect from them will help you to decide and also to understand that you are the one choosing them to come into your life.

2. Food, hygiene, health
These points are basic. You must give the correct food to the animal, good hygiene and especially, you must keep up to date with its vaccinations and health checks at the vet’s.

3. Dedication time
You must have enough available time for the animal’s wellbeing. By this, we don’t just mean time to take it out to the toilet, in the case of dogs, but also quality time. Dogs need long walks through the mountain or along the beach, to sniff things, to play with other dogs… You must give both dogs and indoor animals (cats, rabbits, hamsters,…) toys which awaken their instincts and bring them closer to their real habitat, as far as possible.

4. Responsibility, love and respect
Animals are living beings, which suffer if they are abandoned or mistreated. If you choose to live with one, do so responsibly. Do research, read, learn about them. And always treat them with love, respect and a smile. They will be grateful.

5. Education and socialisation
In the case of dogs, it is essential to train them if you want to live with them in perfect harmony, as well as to socialise them, that is, to let them have contact with other animals of the same species. For other pets, you must find out whether they need company to be happy, such as guinea pigs, or if they are independent, like cats.

6. Check with the vet
Before you decide which pet to give someone, check with a vet who will help you to decide depending on the family lifestyle, the number of family members and their free time, the outdoor activities they have, the type of house, the budget destined to the pet.

7. For life
A pet can have a life expectancy of up to 17 years and over. You must make sure that while they are alive, you will always be responsible for them, without excuses.

8. Check with the whole family
Your new animal companion must be part of the family, with its own space and rights, and must therefore be loved and respected by everyone.

9. Try before
If you’ve never lived with an animal, visit an animal charity, volunteer or even try fostering an animal. Like that you will really know what it is like to live with an animal

10. It changes your life
If after reading this article you are still set on giving a pet, keep in mind that animals change your life, but always for the better. Make sure that its new family will change its life too and give it a decent one.