Deciding to get a new pet is a big commitment, and PDSA is urging people to think twice before making plans to give a furry friend to somebody as a present this Christmas.
“Pets can be a rewarding addition to a family but giving a pet as a surprise gift at this time of year is likely to end in disaster,” says PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Elaine Pendlebury. “The recipient may not be prepared for how much time, money or responsibility being a pet owner involves.”
Sadly, the novelty of a pet as a surprise gift can quickly wear off, leading to thousands of pets being abandoned and homeless just weeks later. Anyone thinking of getting a pet needs to ensure that their lifestyle and circumstances are suited to the animal they intend to keep.
The PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report 2012 found that 92% of owners drastically underestimated the lifetime cost of owning a dog, many of which can live for 15 years or more. PDSA recommends that potential owners take time to do thorough research before taking on a new pet.
“If you know someone who wants a pet but hasn’t any experience a more suitable Christmas present might be is a book about their preferred animal,” continues Elaine. “Then, they can read up on everything that pet will need to be healthy and happy and make an informed decision themselves.”