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Christmas is almost here and our Rangers are asking you to think carefully before buying a new puppy as a gift for your kids or that special someone.
While everyone loves a new puppy, it’s important to remember they’re a life-long commitment and they can’t be returned or exchanged if it’s not the right fit.
While they’re cute, cuddly and fun to start with, we’re encouraging you to think of the ongoing responsibilities including feeding them, cleaning up unpleasant surprises, training, giving them regular exercise and the list goes on.
New pets also need desexing, vaccinations, worming and regular health checks and the vet bills can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Unfortunately, once the initial excitement wears off, many new pet owners find they can’t cope with their newfound responsibilities and end up surrendering their pet.
Tragically, this story is all too common and many pets that are given as Christmas gifts end up homeless in pounds and shelters.
This is not fair to the animal and can be traumatic for kids to give up their new furry friend, so think long and hard before you bring one home for Christmas this year.
Many of you will also be going away during the school holidays and it’s important to come up with a plan for your pet while you’re away.
Many animals find a change in their normal routine stressful, so think about whether taking them away is the best idea for them.
If you do decide to take them with you, make sure your pet is both microchipped and wearing an identity tag with your contact details, so if they decide to wander off, you can be reunited as quickly as possible.
If you can’t take your pet with you, book them into a pet kennel or ask a close friend or family member to look after your furry friend so they’re safe and happy while you’re away. If your pet is staying at your house and a friend is going to come over to feed, water and walk them, it’s really important to ensure they have enough water at all times as the temperature will soar over summer. Making sure there is no way your pet can escape is also a top priority, particularly for dogs, so checking gates and ensuring they can’t dig out is a must!
As your pets are used to having you around, boredom is also an issue, so making sure they have plenty of toys to play with to keep them occupied is also a must.
On behalf of our Rangers, I’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Council’s Ranger Team Leader, Kurt Livens.