Have your kids been begging for a pet? Christmas is an exciting time to bless our children, and you may be thinking about finally giving in to their request. Here are some things to consider before adopting a new pet:
- Timing. If you want to travel during the holidays—or if you travel frequently—think about the expense and complication of boarding a pet. Do you have a reliable pet care center in town? Are your children old and responsible enough to help with day-to-day pet-care chores? Are you considering another baby, a move, or a decision that would affect the long-term care of your pet? It is better not to get a pet and give him up later than to have one for just a little while.
- Type. If your kids long for a pet, and a dog or cat is out of the question due to allergies, lifestyle, or other reasons, consider some kind of small, inexpensive friend, such as a hamster, guinea pig, or fish. If a dog or cat is on your horizon, consider not only the cost of the pet, but also the cost of shots, food, tick and flea medication, hygiene items, and other incidentals. Be aware that specialty pets, such as ferrets, rabbits, and de-scented skunks, can require a higher level of care and expense than cats and dogs. Read, ask questions, and be informed before you choose your pet.
- Training. If you’ve narrowed down a special breed of dog or cat, ask for references of breeders, shelters, trainers, and vets.
Pets are one of the greatest sources of companionship and joy in life, but it is important to be informed before making a decision.
Kristen White enjoys writing, being in the kitchen, and teaching sixth graders at First Baptist Church Shelbyville, Kentucky.