Don’t stuff your pets this Christmas – The Echo

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…and resist the craving for a pet as a gift

Christmas pets need pet treats, not human treats.

In the spirit of giving, it can be tempting to sneak our pets a taste of pork this Christmas. However, it’s important to keep our pets smart this silly season and to stay vigilant about what we feed our pets during the holiday season.

You might think you’re giving your pet a treat by giving them party food, says RSPCA NSW Chief Veterinarian Liz Arnott. Many of these foods can be toxic to animals or make them sick.

“There are other ways to make Christmas special for your pets, such as providing them with long-term chews and taking time to exercise and play with them before your guests arrive for lunch,” Dr. Arnott said.

Here are some festive foods to avoid serving your pets:

  • bacon
  • salty water
  • broth
  • cooked bones
  • chocolate
  • christmas candy
  • fruit cake
  • Grape / currant / raisin
  • an onion
  • lollipops
  • alcohol

Pets are not good gifts

Also, it’s also good to remember that pets are not great gifts. Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) says rescued animals can be wonderful additions to a household — but not only when given as gifts to unsuspecting recipients during one of the chaotic times of the year.

Every year, animal shelters are flooded with dogs and cats given as gifts during the festive period.

PETA has published ten reasons why dogs and cats don’t make good Christmas gifts.

Animals cannot simply be given back

Aunt Cheryl’s awkward Christmas sweater, useless gadget, and tacky tie is easy enough to return, return the gift, or toss in the attic and forget. But animals live, breathe and feel beings that cannot be re-gifted if they do not fit in with one’s imagination.

Dog or cat for life, not just for Christmas

Sure, that kitten or puppy might look cute peeking out from under the Christmas tree – but adding animal companions to the family is an important decision that requires a lifelong commitment to caring for them. Remember: a puppy or kitten can be a part of the family for 15 years or more.

The consequences can be horrific.

Many shelters reach capacity during the first few weeks of the new year, when a tidal wave of surrendered animals hits after the holiday, leaving shelter workers to face the heartbreaking prospect of healthy, friendly, and loving cats and dogs being killed for their lack. The space and resources to take care of them all.

worst. gift. Start.

Cute puppies won’t look like too many ‘gifts’ after they’ve chewed up a priceless heirloom, decided to use the Christmas tree as a toilet, barked all night, and collected hundreds of dollars in vet bills for vaccinations, spaying, flea and worming treatments – and that’s just when Be healthy!

It’s a tough time of the year

When you host house guests, cook up a storm, and travel to see in-laws, the period between Christmas and New Years can get very chaotic—making it difficult for even well-adjusted animals to settle into their new homes.

Contributes to the displacement of animals

In the days, weeks, and months after the holidays, already overcrowded animal shelters across the country will be flooded with animals given as gifts, only to be tossed with the tree when Grandma fades away or their guardians discover it. For puppies and kittens, it’s a full-time job.

Animals are not like other gifts

It takes a lot of time, patience, and money – all of which are rare during the holidays. If you’re thinking of giving a furry friend as a gift this Christmas, stick to the kind found in toy stores.

Kids can be irresponsible (because they’re kids okay)

It’s great to teach kids about responsibility, but after puppy love wears off (and often happens very quickly), it’s the parents who are left to do all the dirty work – literally!

Animal companions can put a lot of pressure on the strings of the bag

Money spent on food, toys, insurance, vaccinations, and vet bills can add up quickly. Over the course of a lifetime, the total cost for each member of the canine family is approximately $25,000. The RSPCA estimates the cost of ownership in the first year to range from $2,350 to $5,220.

Animals are not ‘one size fits all’

All animals have their charms – but this does not mean that they will be compatible with your loved one’s level of activity, experience, and personality. For this reason, it is important to ensure that the animals are suitable for the lifestyle and temperament of the people who will be responsible for them.

We hope you and your pets have a happy, safe and peaceful birthday.

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