Deciding to get a new pet is a big commitment, and PDSA is urging people to think carefully before making plans to add a furry new member to the family this Christmas.
PDSA Senior Vet, Sean Wensley, explains: Choosing the right pet for your lifestyle is essential to ensure a long, happy relationship with your pet. But the timing of when to bring your new pet home is also important. Christmas is a chaotic time of year, with lots of comings and goings, so this may not be the best time to bring a new pet home.
If you have already given a lot of consideration to your new pet and are sure you can provide it with all it needs (try visiting www.your-right-pet.org.uk to make sure), then the next step is to think about timing.
Moving home can be as stressful for animals as it can be for people, and it’s important to make sure you have the time to help your new companion get settled during their first few days and weeks. So if you are planning to get a new family pet, PDSA is encouraging people not to be tempted to plan a traditional arrival ahead of, or during, Christmas one of the busiest times of year.
Sean says: Even if you usually have plenty of time to devote to a pet, it’s likely this will be significantly reduced during the Christmas period when people are out enjoying the festivities. The house is often full of visitors, plus the additional hazards of Christmas decorations. This can be a very stressful environment for a new pet.
He continues: If you do plan to get a pet as a family present, then perhaps wrap a photo to open on Christmas day, or if possible visit the pet beforehand and make a short video to watch. Then once the bustle of Christmas is over, you can bring the pet home to settle in quietly and with much less stress.
For more information on PDSA or free pet health advice visit www.pdsa.org.uk.