It’s easy to get caught up in the Christmas spirit, but animal welfare groups are once again reminding the public not to buy pets as Christmas presents after shocking statistics from RSPCA Victoria were revealed.
Simon Richards from the RSPCA pleads with parents not to buy pets for children around Christmas time. “Think of it like this; for that 10 year old daughter or son you are buying that puppy or kitten for, potentially that puppy or kitten is still going to be around when the child is 25 to 30 years old,” He said.
“Without advocating a completely pet-free Christmas, it is important that the decision is well researched and planned, taking into consideration facts like how big your yard is, what your lifestyle is like, and whether you can afford it or not.”
Some of these aforementioned costs can include yearly veterinerary costs, pet insurance, food, housing and training, making a pet a costly financial decision.
Should you decide, with careful consideration, that you would still like to purchase a pet as a Christmas gift, the RSPCA recommends buyers:
- Go to a shelter to adopt a pet or visit com.au
- If you decide to use a breeding service, ensure you meet the mother and father to check they’re happy and healthy
- Also ensure the breeder has provided a high standard of care and living conditions for all of their animals
If you’re still unsure about the responsibility involved with caring for an animal, Pet Insurance Australia Spokeswomen Nadia Crighton has come up with a fantastic idea.
“If you really want to invite a new animal into your home, consider popping a collar under the tree, and then having a discussion about it with your family members. It is never a good idea to surprise someone with something as large as a pet, and the recipient should always be a part of the planning process.” She said.
Animals Australia has also put together a list of the 10 Commandments of Responsible Pet Ownership that everybody should consider before making a purchase decision:
Source: Animals Australia; adapted from Bureau of Animal Welfare, Victoria
In summary, pets are for life, and should never, ever be purchased on the spur of the moment. It is important to think the decision through carefully and thoroughly before bringing a pet into somebody’s life. By waiting until the end of the holiday season, you’re giving yourself and your family enough time to consider some of the financial consequences involved in owning a pet, and in turn, if you decide to adopt, the opportunity to give your furry friend it’s best life possible.