Think carefully when buying a furry present

It’s the time of year when trips to area malls and pet supply stores include sightings of wagging tails and furry ears, playful barks and purring.

Yes, dogs and cats are a familiar sight this time of the year as shoppers scurry to find last-minute gifts.

The canines and felines being featured are in need of good homes, and local humane societies and animal shelters are hoping the mere sight of a cute puppy or cuddly kittens will win over many hearts just in time for the holidays.

But despite the pleas and pouty lips of children, we ask parents to refrain from purchasing pets as gifts this time of year, or any time for that matter, before carefully considering all options.

There are many, many responsibilities associated with animal adoption, and potential pet owners should have all the facts before bringing home a new cuddly, furry friend.

Potential pet owners should brush up on the various types of dogs and cats available in order to find the best breed. For example, find out which animals require special exercise needs, are prone to certain ailments and may not be good with children.

Make no mistake, choosing a family pet means much time, commitment and money.

Remember, a pet should never be ignored because an owner is too tired or busy. And owners, including children, should know how and when to provide food, water, care, companionship and exercise for animals.

Cost is another factor. Licenses, food, grooming and veterinary care costs need to be considered, and paying for spaying or neutering is a must. Other things to ponder include suitable living arrangements for a pet, caring for a pet while on vacation and training classes.

Stop and think about why many older animals live at shelters. They are there because someone didn’t take responsibility in the first place.

We urge potential pet owners to exercise patience now and think things through before bringing home a cute and cuddly furry companion.


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