Advice on getting a pet for Christmas

Here's our guide to safe and healthy pet purchasing!

Welcoming a new pet into the home is an exciting time, and we’re here to help you find a healthy, happy friend for life. It’s important to find a pet which is a good fit for your lifestyle and really becomes one of the family.

Is a pet a good Christmas present?

The mantra ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’, is very true and important to remember. While the festive season is a wonderful time of year it is often very busy, noisy and colourful. It is often better to settle a pet into the home at a quieter time of year with the regular household routine. 

What kind of pet is best for me?

You might have your heart set on a kitten, or a particular breed of dog, but – like all relationships – until you’ve lived with someone it’s hard to know how it will work out. To help you understand who will make your best animal companion, the PDSA have a helpful guide to choosing a pet. It’s important to think about the time, space, activity levels and social needs of a pet. It’s also important to budget for their food, accessories and veterinary care to keep them fit and healthy. Check out our new owner guides here and fill in the lifestyle checklist to help you find the right pet. You can also watch our fun guide to finding your perfect pet here.

Buying a dog or cat from breeders

Once you’ve decided on a pet, the next step is to find one! If you are looking for a particular breed or dog or cat then you need to find a reputable breeder. The Kennel Club has a list of all assured dog breeders as part of a scheme to ensure the best health and welfare of the mum and her pups. Even though it’s illegal, there are still puppy and kitten farms in the UK, and increasing numbers of puppies being imported from puppy farms abroad. If you purchase a puppy or kitten to rescue it from poor welfare, sadly it will soon be replaced by another and the trade will continue.

Preloved pets – rehoming a dog, cat or rabbit

Rehoming a pet can be a great way of finding your perfect match. Most animal charities will help to find the right companion, even though he or she may come as a surprise. Another advantage of buying from a shelter will be the preventative veterinary care and knowledge of any health issues. You may also have more information about behaviour and any peculiar quirks your new friend may have, to help you understand each other from the get-go. Avoid rehoming a pet from overseas, even if there is an affectionate stray tugging at your heart strings. There is a risk of bringing back exotic diseases even in an apparently healthy dog or cat, some of which can affect you as well as other animals. There are many unwanted pets in the UK it’s better to rehome closer to home. 

Puppies for Sale! – Beware of online headlines

Whether it’s a new litter or an older animal in need of a new home, animals up for homing on social media sites or trading websites should be treated with care. It is very difficult to fact-check the health and welfare of animals advertised online, so make sure you follow the responsible rehoming guidelines.

How to look after your new dog or cat

Download our FREE New Owner Packs to guide you on becoming the best pawrent possible to your new bundle of fur.

Pet health plans – what are they and do I need them?

Pet health plans provide you with affordable peace of mind that your pet will receive all the veterinary care needed to keep them fit and healthy. They include regular check-ups, flea and worm treatment, vaccinations and discounted veterinary treatments. Our Healthy Start Plans provide your new puppy or kitten the best value healthcare available. For older pets, you can ensure they continue to receive all the preventative care they need with our 365 Pet Care Plan.

Pet insurance – what is it and do I need it?

Pet insurance provides financial cover for veterinary and other supplementary treatment. Pet insurance will pay out within your policy guidelines to help cover the cost. It’s important to check for policy excesses and exclusions which may apply to your policy, which may vary over time. Like all insurance it’s important to read the small print! If you need any more advice, contact us or pop into your local easipetcare pratice and talk to our friendly staff. We’re happy to help you find your purrrrfect pet.

Best wishes,

 Judy Walker B.Vet.Med MRCVS. Founder of easipetcare - find out more  about Judy here!