A dog is not just for Christmas, and the number of dogs abandoned after the festive season increases each year. Deel Animal Action Group gave the following advice on what to consider before adopting a new pet.
Permission from your landlord
People who rent and get a pet for Christmas without the landlord’s permission end up surrendering them to keep their accommodation according to Deel.The group explained that the issue of dogs being surrendered to shelters is heightened by renters who may have to move, or find it difficult to get accomodation that allows pets.
Deel says that pets originally bought as Christmas presents are surrendered in the New Year as they are: getting too big, people don’t have time to walk them, someone is allergic to dogs, the pet damages the curtains or furniture when teething or bored because no one has time to spend with them.
Puppies don’t arrive perfectly trained and well-behaved, new owners should expect to have to toilet train their new arrival, as well as teaching basic obedience. Deel explained that it takes time for a pup to learn not to pee indoors and they can have accidents when excited. They recommended availing of professional trainers such as K9 Alpha.
It is also important to consider what breed will suit your lifestyle, for example high energy dogs need a lot of physical activity, and breeds such as pugs and British bulldogs can be prone to health issues. Not all dogs have the same needs. It’s important to remember that a dog’s temperament is not just decided by its breed but also by how it was raised.
The estimated cost of owning a dog is approximately €2,500 a year which breaks down to almost €50 a week and pet owners should consider the cost of pet insurance, food, microchipping, vaccinations, neutering, and other expenses. Owners should also try to prepare for emergency vet bills. Under Irish law, all dogs must be microchipped.
Fostering can help people decide if they can handle owning a dog, before committing to ownership. Spending time with a family member’s pet or fostering one from the rescue for a set period of time can help potential owners make up their mind.
Should owners need to surrender their dog, Deel says that the general procedure is to contact the rescue, fill in a surrender form and pay the surrender fee. The charity explained that pound rescue fees are usually lower than theirs but there is a danger that dogs surrendered to pounds may not be adopted and end being put to sleep. Deel make sure dogs are neutered, healthy, and personality assisted before rehoming them.
The message from Deel is to adopt, don’t shop: “A pet is for life and if you can’t commit, don’t get a pet until the time is right.”
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