Sea­son to be silly, but think be­fore gift­ing pets

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION/NEWS -

Christ­mas is great. Fam­ily, time off, presents.

And ev­ery Christ­mas some peo­ple de­cide to give pets as presents. This is OK if it is planned and dis­cussed by ev­ery­one, and the puppy, kit­ten, bunny rab­bit is looked af­ter long af­ter Christ­mas is over.

Un­for­tu­nately, far too of­ten the per­son be­ing given the pet is un­pre­pared to look af­ter their liv­ing present, and things do not go ac­cord­ing to plan. Pets live many years and need at­ten­tion and care for their whole life not just the Christ­mas hol­i­days.

Ev­ery year pets are given as presents and too many end up at the SPCA or pound be­cause the per­son given the pet does not have the time, the money or both to look af­ter them prop­erly.

Cats need food, flea and worm treat­ments and proper vet care. Dogs need all this plus ex­er­cise, ken­nelling, reg­is­tra­tion, mi­cro- chip­ping and the ex­tra at­ten­tion and train­ing to en­sure that they end up good dogs, that don’t cause prob­lems or are ag­gres­sive.

There is of­ten much guilt had by the per­son given the pet in th­ese sit­u­a­tions when the per­son who has given the pet is ac­tu­ally the guilty one. For this rea­son most peo­ple keep the pet, how­ever, even if they strug­gle to find the time or money to look af­ter them. Th­ese pets can end up ne­glected as a re­sult.

If think­ing of giv­ing a pet as a present, en­sure:

The per­son re­ceiv­ing the pet as a gift ac­tu­ally wants a pet.

They un­der­stand the life­time com­mit­ment to the pet.

Don’t give a pet as a Christ­mas present to some­one who is head­ing away soon.

Have a back- up plan if things don’t work out (in­clud­ing tak­ing the pet your­self).

Pets pro­vide a huge amount of fun and love when cared for, but they are a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity too and petown­er­ship should never be taken lightly, es­pe­cially at

Christ­mas.

Gift or bur­den? Think care­fully be­fore con­sid­er­ing giv­ing a pet as a present this Christ­mas.

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