It might seem like a great gift idea, but pets last a lot longer than the novelty of unwrapping a squirming puppy on Christmas morning.

They may seem like the perfect present, but an animal of any kind is not a purchase to take lightly.

With Christmas only weeks away, Logan City Council’s Animal Management Centre is reminding people that a new addition to the family should be well thought out and discussed with all members.

“I always find it difficult to see the high volume of pets impounded, but the statistics for the December and January period are particularly upsetting,” says Councillor Graham Able, Animals and City Standards Committee Chairperson. “It is the season for celebrations and holidays however storms, illegal fireworks and kitten breeding are some of the key reasons animals are impounded every year.

“In addition to those contributing factors, many people don’t realise what they’re getting into when they purchase a pet as a present.”

Before purchasing a pet, people should consider if they are able to meet the animal’s basic needs – food, shelter, veterinary care, and love and attention.

Before buying a new pet, you should ask yourself the following questions –
  • What type of dog or cat will best suit your home environment and lifestyle? Consider personality, size, grooming needs and the health problems associated with certain breeds.
  • Can you afford an annual registration fee, routine vet visits, vaccination, worming, and flea/tick control?
  • Is your home or yard secure for the cat or dog, and can you provide adequate food and housing for a cat or dog?
  • Will you be able to effectively control the cat or dog? Can you afford to take a dog to obedience training?
  • Can you afford to put the cat or dog in a boarding kennel when you go on holidays?
  • Can you exercise the dog daily? Will your pet be left alone for extended periods during the day?

If you do decide to purchase a pet for Christmas, consider adopting from a shelter before purchasing from pet stores that often source from puppy factory farms.

“Just be aware that potentially your cute new animal has come from a mother kept in horrendous conditions, pumping out puppies to sell… and if you do want to buy from a pet shop, just do your homework first,” says Gabrielle McMahon, Advocate for Oscar’s Law.

The RSPCA recommends finding a good breeder if you can’t find a good match in a shelter. Visit the place the puppy was born to meet the mother dog and check they’re happy and healthy, and ensure the breeder provides a high standard of care and living conditions for all their dogs.

Have you ever received a pet as a gift? Let us know how it worked out!