Pets should not be gifts
ADOG is for life, not just for Christmas’. Trips off the tongue, doesn’t it? Surely one of the most successful advertising slogans of all time. Would you believe that despite this, every single year the RSPCA is inundated with calls from people who have received pets for Christmas, only to find within days or weeks that once the dust has settled they are either unable or unwilling to look after them?
There is still much work to be done to get the message across that although a puppy may look cute on December 25, this is a huge decision and must never be taken lightly.
If you are seriously considering getting a dog, there is plenty to consider.
Cost is an important factor. Can you really afford a dog? We’re not talking about the amount of money you’ll be handing over the day you take your new canine family member home – that’s just the beginning.
You’ll need to pay for vaccinations; puppies need their initial vaccinations and all dogs need a yearly booster.
Once they’re old enough, puppies will need to be neutered and the costs for this can run into the hundreds, depending on the size of the animal and the veterinary practice. Then there’s microchipping – a legal requirement, which will set you back roughly £15 – plus the essential flea and worm treatments, up to £200 per year. Pet insurance is a must, to cover you for unforeseen events, and this will run into the hundreds depending on the policy you take out.
You’ll also need to buy dog toys and accessories such as collar, lead, dog bed, poo bags and pay for things such as training sessions and grooming salons, perhaps a dog walker if you are unable to take the dog out for any reason. This is all before we’ve even mentioned food.
Dogs don’t live on thin air and you can expect to pay somewhere in the region of £500 - £1,000 annually on food, depending on your individual dog.
Assuming you’re fortunate enough to be able to afford all of the above, there is still plenty to consider. A dog relies on you for everything – food, water, shelter, leadership, exercise, grooming, training, veterinary care, companionship and protection.
Are you prepared to spend the next 10-15 years of your life taking care of your dog? A dog is a lifelong commitment and an enormous responsibility. To those prepared to invest the money, time and effort, there is nothing more rewarding, but please remember, animals are family members who should be loved and respected – they are not ‘gifts’ to be traded around Christmas time.
If you would like any advice on dog ownership or want to find out more about adopting a rescue animal, pop into our Hillingdon Clinic’s open day on Saturday December 3 2016, from 10am to 3pm at 16 Crescent Parade, Hillingdon UB10 0LG (01895 231435).
Looking for a home Roxy (female, tan and white) and Loki (male, black and white) are two delightful four-year-old Jack Russell terriers.
This lovely pair are very affectionate but still need some toilet training and their new owner(s) would ideally have prior knowledge of the breed to bring them on.
Roxy and Loki need a fairly active home without cats, ideally with no children under the age of eight. They are both quite independent characters so we may consider homing them separately. Can you offer them the future they deserve?
Laura was found by a canal with her three kittens, who she has raised in our care. Her offspring have now found new homes and it is Laura’s turn to find happiness in a new life.
This beautiful girl is two years old, affectionate in nature and quite a little character. She can be pretty vocal at times and has an incredible purr!
Laura would prefer a family home with no other cats but may live with a dog. Do you have the purrrfect home to offer Laura?
Visit www. rspcahillingdonclinic.org. uk to view all of our animals and download an adoption application form.
As the days turn wetter and colder, we are grateful for any donations of old sheets and blankets to use for bedding for the animals.
These can be brought into our Clinic at 16 Crescent Parade, Hillingdon UB10 0LG.
We are also urgently in need of kitten food, as we have a lot of young cats under 12 months. Thank you.
HOMELESS: Roxy and Loki (above) and Laura (left)