It might sound like the ultimate gift for the festive season, a new puppy or a tiny kitten. But taking care of an animal brings along real-life responsibilities that need careful consideration beforehand. A companion animal is for life and not everyone is prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time and effort into taking care of an animal. Before you add a kitten or a puppy to the pile of presents under the tree, please consider these 4 questions carefully.
- Will they have the time to go for walks two or three times a day?
- Are they planning a big move next year?
- Can they afford any unplanned costs like trips to the vet, vaccinations, and food?
- Is anyone in the family allergic to cats or dogs?
It is very important to consider whether people would really like a companion animal. Shelters are full of cats and dogs looking for a new home because their families couldn’t take care of them anymore. Often it isn’t because they don’t want to but because they simply can’t.
If you are thinking of getting a puppy or a kitten for a loved one, why not try these alternatives for that person instead?
- Visit a shelter
Many shelters are inundated with animals looking for a good home. So instead of simply getting an animal for your loved one, why not plan a visit to a shelter after Christmas. Not only will you help an animal in need, you will also enable the other person to really consider whether they would like the responsibility of taking care of an animal.
- Give a donation to a shelter
Shelters often rely on gifts and donations, so why not donate a small amount of money to one of your local shelters? Most shelters will be looking for blankets and food during the winter months and this way, you would give someone the gift that keeps on giving.
- Create a personal gift card
Give your loved one a gift card or a hamper with toys and food. This provides the person with the opportunity to make up their own mind. You could even add a book about grooming and training that will inform the person about the responsibilities of taking care of an animal.
Are you still thinking to adopt a cat or a dog after reading these tips?
Then here is our final one:
- Choose a shelter that is part of our A Companion Animal is For Life project
Adopting an animal means taking on a new family member! We encourage all human friends to make a responsible choice when it comes to adoptions and encourage everyone to adopt an animal from a shelter that participates in our An Animal Companion Is For Life project. A project with high ambitions: it aims to eliminate the abandonment of companion animals, decrease the number of stray dogs and to transform shelters into temporary refuges that only have one single purpose: adoption. The project also wants to make humans fully responsible for the care of their cats and dogs, from the moment of birth, through systematic microchipping and registration procedures. Find out more on our A Companion Animal Is For Life webpage.