AS THE saying goes – a pet is for life, not just for Christmas! Any pet, no matter how big or small can fill your life with joy, but it is also essential to ensure the pet receives the care they need all the time, not just at the festive season.
Maeve Lunny, from the Brook Veterinary Clinic, Enniskillen urges those considering giving a pet a home, to remember that getting a pet is a life long commitment.
“A Dog is for Life and not for Christmas is true. The festive season can present some wonderful images of a beautiful clean healthy puppy playing in the snow. “One is not presented with the image of your puppy playing in muck with an unkempt coat. We must remember that the pretty pup could live for 14 years and the fluffy kitten for 18 years and the owner is responsible for all the needs during that time.”
“Ask yourself the questions, have you enough time, have you enough space, can you afford the basic care needs such as vet bills, insurance, kennel, cattery fees and groomers? “If you can say yes to all these questions, then a pet is for you, but if not, it is best to rethink your Christmas presents.”
“A pet should never be given as a present without making sure the new owner wants and is prepared for it. Unwanted pets can end up in sanctuaries after Christmas time and these rescue centres are very often overstocked without a seasonal rush on their facilities. Every pet requires a daily commitment such as food, water, shelter, play and cleaning. If you are unable to provide these basic requirements then a pet is not for you,” added Meave.
“If you have a busy house and lots of visitors it may be better to introduce the new pet when your home is back to a normal routine. It may even be better to wait to the spring and summer when it is easier to housetrain your pup and the days are longer for walks.”
“If you still wish to go ahead it is best to buy from a reputable source. Get your vet to do a health check, get all routine vaccines and anti-parasitic treatment. Then enrol in a puppy class or a dog trainer and remember to neuter. And most importantly, have fun as they will enrich your life,” said Maeve Lunny.