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Is Santa Bringing You A New Pet?

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There is something completely magical about  unwrapping a box with a furry friend inside or waking up on Christmas morning to find that adorable puppy or kitten under the tree.  Once the magic of Christmas morning wears off, the hangover of the holidays have taken hold, and well…..you’ve got an extra mouth to feed, a cage to clean, and puddles on the floor.  The best way to avoid this shock is to really prepare yourself for the needs of this pet.

Here are somethings to consider when you get a pet for the holidays:

1. Don’t kid yourself – even though this was a Christmas present for your child, this pet is your responsibility.

2. If your new pet is an exotic animal their environment and diet are VERY important.  Doing your research and setting things up properly at the beginning will save you time and money in the long run.

3. If your new pet is a puppy, be prepared for training!  Puppies also need constant supervision so that they don’t get into things that can hurt them.  Make sure you have a plan for containing, supervising, and training your puppy that the whole family is committed to.

4. If your new pet is a kitten make sure that all of the crawl spaces, attic entrances, and chimney flues are secure.  Kittens are curious, and can get lost and stuck in places easily.  It’s best to keep your kitten confined to a safe room or area of the house at first.  If you have tinsel in your Christmas tree – get rid of it!

5. Consider that average life span of the animal before you make this decision – dogs live on average 11 – 13 years, cats live on average 13-15 years, rabbits live 10 years, birds (depending on the breed) can live until they are 70 years old, pocket pets like hamsters and Guinea pigs live 3-5 years, and reptiles (depending on the species) can live for 10 – 30 years.  Chances are that theses animals will be still living in your home long after the children have left, so be sure you are making a choice that you can live with.

After all is said and done, the precious memories that your family will have of the Christmas morning when this pet came into your lives – plus the years of memories to come – are worth all of the puddles and chewed up wood work in the world.  Happy Holidays!