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Mark Bower

Mark founded MoneyMaxim in 2008, with the aim of delivering an impartial and independent service. Mark is a regular money saving expert in the press and writes regular news and articles for the MoneyMaxim news pages sharing his views on banking, personal insurance and the utilities (gas, electricity, mobile and home phones, broadband and pay TV) market with customers.

Mark Bower is one of our Team of Experts

If you are given a pet at Christmas what do you need to consider?

What must I do if I am given a pet at Christmas?

Christmas pet checklist

Everyone has heard the phase - 'A dog is for life - not just for Christmas', without doubt one of the most memorable marketing messages from by the Dogs Trust, and inspired by their then CEO Clarissa Baldwin. But why is that?

Why not give a pet for Christmas

The reason that pets given as presents at Christmas turn into a living nightmare for both the pet and its owner are many fold and include:

  • A lack or research has been done into the appropriateness of the pet to it's new home
  • The responsibilities that pet ownership bring have not been fully considered
  • The costs that having a new member of your family, from food and vets bills to extra equipment and toys is significant.

These then lead to problems down the line, and in all too many cases the once sought after kitten, puppy or rabbit (or indeed any other household pet).

A checklist if you have thought through your decision and decided a pet is your perfect present

How to make your new pet feel comfortable

To make sure your pet is going to have a comfortable introduction to your home maker sure you have the following:

  • Somewhere comfortable to sleep - a suitably sized crate or pet bed
  • Blankets
  • Food and water bowls
  • Food appropriate to your pet and its age (if you are not sure do talk to a vet)
  • Dogs will need a collar and tag (as they are legal requirements) a harness and a lead., * Collars and tags are also a great idea for cats if they are old enough to leave the house.
  • Harness and lead
  • Toys - essential both for fun and distracting your pet if they are getting up to mischief.
  • Puppy pads for toilet training, cat lit trays for cats and kittens
  • Poo bags
  • A comb or brash for grooming
  • For dogs you will also want to get dog shampoo and dog toothpaste and toothbrush

How to Pet Proof your home

  • Ensure you have a cosy spot for the bedspace.
  • Find a secure place to keep their food,. and decide where their eating area will be
  • Check your house and garden for [plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs]*(https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/basics/top-10-plants-poisonous-to-pets/)
  • Move fragile items out of reach of your new pet
  • Consider shutting doors or getting a stair gate to create no go areas if desired.

Your New Pets Health

  • Identify a Vet, and register with them as soon as possible - arrange a check up to make sure your new arrival is fit an well from the start.
  • Buy Pet Insurance - what out for offers such as Insurance Emporium Insurance Money Off Vouchers where savings of up to 30% can be acheived.
  • If you have a more mature dog find a safe walking area - ideally test it out first - you do not want to meet an aggressive dog on your first walk.

Need more help?

There are plenty of organisations out there that can offer help when you have a new pet. The Dogs Trust are ideal for dogs, PDSA for both cats and dogs.

Image courtesy of: Searick1