What to consider before giving a pet as a present

(WTNH) — While a cute and cuddle puppy might seem like the perfect present to give a loved one, Richard and Vicki Horowitz from bark buster break down what you need to consider.

A recent study at an animal shelter reported that 54% of the dogs surrendered to the shelter were six months to three years old and 15% were less than six months old.

Richard and Vicki of Bark Busters say shelters often see an increase in pet drop offs after the holidays. This is because many people get pets as presents, and are not prepared to take care of them. Holidays are also a hectic time of year, preventing the new furry addition to the family from getting the attention and training it needs. Some families my be unaware of holiday hazards around the household, including ornaments, tinsel, decorations, wrapping paper, poinsettias and other poisonous plants.

Is it that difficult to care for a new pet?

Owning a pet is a lifetime commitment, to our pet, that every family member needs to agree upon. This is an important process every family should make together. Pets should never be given on an impulse.

So what needs to be considered?

Adding an animal to the family is an important decision.

  • Hold family meetings to create rules about caring for the dog beforeyou get the furry family member.
  • What kind of dog fits in with the family dynamics — large or small, young or old, active or low energy?
  • Who is financially responsible?
  • Where will he sleep and eat?
  • Who will walk him and clean up after him?
  • Will he be allowed on the furniture, the bed, and in all rooms of the house?
  • Are there other pets (dogs, cats, birds) in the household?

What about the time commitment for a new pet?

  • Making sure the family has time for the new pet is essential to the puppy’s development into a well behaved dog.
  • A stressful introduction can have negative effects and hinder a safe, successful integration into the family.
  • Don’t get a pet and expect to go back to your routine or leave the dog alone in a day or so. The pet needs time to adjust to its new environment or there could be some unexpected behaviors problems such as separation anxiety and destructiveness.

If the holidays aren’t the right time for a new pet, when is?

To improve the chances of a successful transition into your home, introduce pets during a relaxed, quiet time when the family can devote full attention to helping the animal adjust.  Also be prepared and have the proper supplies (food, crate, collar, leash, food and water bowls, hard dog appropriate toys) as well as planned visit to the veterinarian.

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