Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Kittens (and Puppies) at Christmas
This time of year, we always get lots of inquiries from parents in search of a kitten to place beneath their Christmas tree for their children. Though I am happy to see so many people interested in adopting pets, and the image of a kitten in a big velvet bow in the arms of a sweet, pajama-clad child on Christmas is a lovely one, I always encourage folks to wait for the holidays to pass before introducing a new animal into their home.
During the holidays, stress levels are high, life is chaotic, and schedules are irregular. We travel, we have houseguests coming and going, and introducing a new pet during this time, especially a demanding young kitten or puppy, could make for a more difficult transition for the little one. Waiting until after the holidays for life to settle down and schedules to return to normal can give you the time, patience, and energy you will need to focus on training and helping the puppy or kitten settle into the new home.
There are so many pet hazards around the holidays, too. Things like tinsel, ribbons, ornaments, and trims can be dangerous when chewed or swallowed. There are food hazards, like chocolate, and toxic house plants that could be ingested. Other safety risks include Christmas lighting, cords, and candles.
Kitten and puppy-proofing is already challenging enough without these additional hazards of the holiday season.
As an alternative to giving a pet for the holidays, consider giving a gift certificate instead. This way, when the time is right and life is calm, the whole family can be involved with the pet selection process. You could include the gift certificate in a box or basket of pet toys and essentials like food and dishes; grooming tools; a collar, leash or harness; dog waste bags; or a litter box scoop. Picking up these supplies can help you start a dialog with your child about pet care, pet needs, and being a responsible pet owner, and it can help prepare them for what’s to come. It will show your child that bringing a pet into your life is something that requires serious thought, preparation, and commitment, and when it’s time to bring your new puppy or kitten home, it will help give the little one a very positive start in its new life with your family!
For lots of great articles on kitten and puppy care, please pay a visit to MyPetReference.com. And for a $10 off coupon for Royal Canin kitten and puppy formula and a free downloadable puppy or kitten guide, visit HERE.