Pets aren’t just for Christmas, they’re for life. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider before bringing a new pet into your home this festive season. Read on to find out more and connect with us on social to share your thoughts!
Straight off the bat, you need to ask yourself a very hard question; can you really afford a cat or a dog? There are a range of costs associated with adopting a pet and not just when you first bring them home. You need to be able to pay for food, bedding, toys, collars, insurance and much more. Taking on a dog or cat is a huge responsibility and being able to meet their needs from a financial point of view is crucial. The best thing to do is make a list of all expected costs on a monthly basis, as well as some contingency costs and see the impact this has on your monthly outgoings.
Getting a puppy or a kitten is a bit like having a baby – you simply cannot leave them alone. If you want to adopt a pet, you need to make time in your life to care for them properly and give them all the love and attention they need. If you work long hours and don’t have anyone to help out, your poor dog or cat won’t get the care they need and most likely end up spending a lot of time alone. As we all know, animals can suffer from behavioural problems when they’ve been neglected so if you can’t commit time to your pet, it probably isn’t the right time to adopt.
This one mainly applies to dogs but the breed of dog you choose is very important. For example, if you live a very sedentary lifestyle, a collie (that needs a lot of exercise), probably isn’t the right dog for you. At the same time, if you’re outdoorsy and enjoy spending your weekends hiking for hours on end, a Chihuahua (that doesn’t need much exercise to stay healthy), may struggle to keep up with you physically. Aside from exercise, you also need to think about the temperaments of different breeds. Some dogs are more difficult to train and may be more suited to experienced owners. Do you research into different breeds and choose a pooch that suits your lifestyle. This is a great way of making sure that you’ll be able to meet their needs fully.
Do you already have pets at home? Before you adopt another, you may want to consider how your existing pets will feel about it. Are they very sociable or a bit on the territorial side? You need to minimise distress or anxiety wherever possible, so if you do decide to adopt a new pet, think about how you will phase them into your daily routine and create a detailed plan of action. Sometimes, even pets with the sweetest nature can feel a bit threatened by a new dog or cat, causing them to act out. If you have a plan to introduce them slowly, whilst being considerate of their feelings, you are much less likely to experience any territorial disputes.
Similar to existing pets, you need to think long and hard about adopting a pet if you have kids. Many rescue centres won’t rehome dogs and cats with families that have kids so it’s worth keeping this in mind. Even if you plan to buy your new pet from a breeder, you still need to weigh-up whether your kids are ready for the responsibility. This is even more important if you’re a first time pet owner, as you may find you struggle to balance the needs of your pet and the needs of your children, especially if you lead a busy lifestyle. Offer to take care of a friend or family member’s pet for a day or two and see how your family reacts. This will give you an indication of the things to look out for and the conversations that need to be had prior to adoption.
Just like us, animals need a balanced diet and exercise to stay healthy. There are other things you need to think about though when it comes to cat and dog health. Both cats and dogs are prone to fleas, ticks and worms, so having a solid prevention plan in place is important if you want to keep them healthy. Many pet owners also make a conscious effort to give their pets supplements as a way of maintaining general health. Luckily, Bob Martin has everything you need to keep your cat or dog in tip-top condition. Shop the range today.
Thinking about getting a cat or dog this Christmas? Connect with us on social media and share pictures of your new furry friend!