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Avoid impulse buying of pets as Christmas gifts

Media Release
4 November 2009

Avoid impulse buying of pets as Christmas gifts

With the festive season fast approaching, pet care company Purina is encouraging New Zealanders to avoid impulse buying of pets as Christmas gifts.

Pet care Advisor for Purina, Shivaun Statham, says the company is drawing attention to the issue now because many of the pets that are bought as Christmas presents every year inevitably end up unwanted in animal shelters.

“Puppies or kittens can be hard to resist buying when you see them in a pet store, but careful consideration should be made before you add another member to your family.”

Ms Statham quotes statistics from the Auckland SPCA that show more than 1000 newly abandoned animals were collected in December 2008 alone.

She says Purina doesn’t want to discourage people from buying pets for Christmas as they make wonderful Christmas gifts, but says it’s vital to make sure first that the intended recipient is in agreement and is involved in the purchase.

“If the recipient of the ‘present’ did not actually want a pet in the first place or were not aware of the responsibilities of owning one, that pet is more likely to end up in the animal shelter.”

Ms Statham says that people need to be fully aware of all the responsibilities and costs – in time and money – of taking on and caring for a new pet, including:

• Vaccinations and health checks
• Behaviour training
• Correct food
• Bedding and toys
• Collars and leashes
• Pet carriers for transport
• Appropriate exercise
• Fenced yard for dogs

Ms Statham says it’s also important to make sure you can look after the new pet during the holiday season immediately following Christmas.

“Find out if the recipient can take the pet with them on holiday. If not, can they book it into a kennel or cattery? Many boarding establishments won’t take pets if they are not fully vaccinated and get booked up months in advance for Christmas, so it’s important to consider these things well in advance.”

Ms Statham says that the recipient of a gift pet also needs to consider whether there are provisions made for the pet’s care once they go back to work.

“A pet is a wonderful gift that can bring much joy and happiness to someone on Christmas morning, but proper planning is essential to avoid the tragedy of abandoned pets come New Year’s Day.”

For in-depth information about maintaining optimal nutrition and care for new pets, visit the Purina web site at www.purina.co.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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