It’s time to start shopping for those perfect gifts on your shopping list. From the latest tech to the hottest toy, whether online or in the malls, the hunt is on for gifts to bring joy this season.
But one item that you never ever find on a gift list is a pet. And for good reason. Pets are a different type of gift.
According to Michelle Christie, Royal Canin South Africa corporate affairs manager, worldwide, people receive a new dog or cat during this time of year, always with the best intention. Pet ownership is one of the most amazing experiences, and it’s rewarding for the animals too. This time of year thousands of homeless pets have the chance to find loving homes.
“One of the most memorable aspects of giving a gift is the anticipation of the emotional reaction as a someone opens a gift,” says Christie. “ I remember fondly the moment I brought home our first dog, anxiously awaiting how my family accept him. Would they laugh, smile, cry for joy? Nothing beat those first moments of meeting your new family member.”
Christie says, “When you give a gift the moment is about celebrating. Giving a dog or cat is different. It has to be about the animal. And, it is more than a joyous moment; it is a lifelong commitment.”
It would be great if pets came with instruction manuals. But they don’t. One of the most rewarding aspects of pet ownership is discovering those unique personalities and needs. New owners may not always consider all factors when adpting a pet. Sometimes a dog or cat will even be selected without the whole family being part of the decision.
One of the most important individuals is, nearly always, not part of the conversation at all. That is the veterinarian. A trusted, neutral voice who can ask you the tough questions and guide you in the right direction.
Your new cat or dog will be part of the family for many years. Responsible pet ownership begins with research to find the right pets and the correct way of integration on their arrival into your lives..
Christie offers seven factors to consider before introducing a new pet over the holidays:
- What type is best?
Every cat and dog is different. Their size, age, energy levels and temperaments can impact the family dynamic. Finding your cat or dog can be an exciting, but daunting experience that will needs research and planning with the entire family. What we have learned from years of knowledge and insights gained by working with veterinarians is that they are a key source of information. Their professional experience can help you select the best dog or cat for your lifestyle, home and needs. They can also recommend local animal shelters or breeders from where you can adopt a pet.
- Do you have a budget for their expenses?
Owning a cat or dog can be expensive, but ask any owner and they will tell you they are worth every cent. Initial costs can be pricey, especially costs of vaccinations and sterilisation. Remember to budget for routine and emergency medical care, food, toys and grooming.
- Have you chosen a veterinarian?
Select a veterinarian before your pet comes home. One closest to your home is normally advisable, especially in cases of emergency.
- Are there special health conditions or dietary needs your pet may have?
Learn what your new pet needs to be healthy and happy at home with you.
- Is your family’s schedule hectic?
Family time is precious, and even more so with a new pet. Work, travel and long hours, as well as after-school activities and responsibilities will impact your cat or dog too. Responsible pet ownership includes planning for care. Can the whole family help care for the pet, feed, exercise, train and play, or does the responsibility lie with you?
- Have you researched training facilities to help your new pet learn?
Cats and dogs need love and attention, but they also need to learn. Training your new dog requires patience, dedication and persistence, and also time and money. Make time to teach your dog.
- Is your house pet ready?
Before bringing your new pet home, think about what’s best for the animal. Have a dedicated and appropriate space with some toys available. Some breeds need more stimulation and space and some are better suited outdoors. Before finding your perfect cat or dog, check out any residential regulations regarding pet ownership, especially house rules in townhouse develpments. In some cases, these will determine what kind of pet, if at all, a family can have.
Chrisite says, “Being dedicated to an “animal comes first” approach, Royal Canin is committed to what’s best for cats and dogs. It’s one of the reasons we work so hard with veterinarians , breeders, academia and professionals to totally understand pets. It’s also time to think differently about the giving season. Don’t give a pet, plan for a pet. Adopting a cat or dog is one of the most rewarding, wonderful experiences. With the correct planning, the pet has a home for life.”
A member of the Pet Food Industry of South Africa (PFI), Royal Canin is represented globally in many countries on their pet food forums and plays a major role in helping to raise the quality and food safety standards worldwide.
For more information on any Royal Canin® canine or feline health nutrition solutions, contact them on 0860 630 063 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.