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Pets Are More Than Presents

Pets Are More Than Presents

Looking after a pet is a good way for children to learn about caring but it’s a commitment – not just a great Christmas present, says the NZVA.

NZVA president Dr Richard Wild says owing a pet is a long-term duty and the recipient must be aware of their responsibilities.

“Kittens and puppies are sometimes given as gifts at Christmas time. They are cute and can make a wonderful present. But they also require plenty of care and can be costly including on your time. The commitment is considerable.”

He says while it’s tempting, Christmas is not always the best time to buy a pet.

“Dogs in particular benefit from a calm environment and a set routine. Many of our members recommend that people wait until the excitement of Christmas is over before introducing a new puppy or kitten.”

The NZVA doesn’t want to put people off owning pets. Veterinarians appreciate that pet owning is a valuable and rewarding experience for old and young alike.

“The pet can be an uncritical friend to a child and wonderful company, particularly for the lonely. Children who grow up with a pet learn about looking after its needs – providing food, water and shelter. As long as they are properly supervised, it’s a good way for children to develop a sense of responsibility and caring,” Dr Wild says.

Anyone thinking about getting a pet for the first time should discuss it with their veterinarian, he says.

“This way they can learn the best caring methods to ensure the animals stays in good health. The staff in veterinary clinics are pleased to help people get off on the right foot.”


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