As we embrace another lockdown here in the UK, many are reflecting on their habits and behaviours from the past year to introduce some positivity into the new year. One thing many pet parents have noted is that our companions have been a lifesaver during the lockdown months.
As the nation craves the support and companionship that comes with another family member, Brits have turned at an alarming rate towards pet ownership. But what are the repercussions? Well, animal welfare charities have reported a 130% rise in the number of calls about unwanted pets.
With breeders cashing in, families unprepared and pets suffering the detrimental effects of this unfortunate new trend, in this short read we highlight five key questions you should be asking yourself before welcoming a new pet into your home this year.
What are my life plans for the next 10 years?
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life plans can be made and just as easily broken in a moment's notice. But when it comes to our pets, they really do need a sense of stability and a forever home is crucial for them.
We understand that for many people, even smaller things like what they’re having for dinner each day, isn’t ironed out until the last minute. This approach cannot be applied to pets. If you are serious about pet adoption, you’ll need to be realistic about the longevity of their needs and ultimately their life expectancy.
With many cats living 10 to 15 years and some smaller dog breeds living up to 18 years, your life choices and future commitments are definitely something you’ll need to consider before choosing a furry friend to live alongside you.
Can I provide the right care for my pet after lockdown?
Working from home has become the new normal for the majority, with many workers finding themselves lonely at home and with time to spare during their working day. In theory, this is a great time to support a young puppy or kitten with early learning and at-home training, but there’ll come a time when life outside the home resumes. So it’s important to consider where this leaves our pets.
Is the whole family onboard with a pet?
It may seem obvious, but if one family member is more invested than another, the likelihood is that bad habits or bad behaviour in the early stages of raising a pet will simply frustrate those who aren’t as onboard with the idea.
Teaching your new pet how to behave in your home requires a great deal of time, effort and patience. By getting the whole family on board before your new pet arrives will lower the chance that your furry friend will meet the gates of a rehoming centre.
It’s crucial that you find the right fit for your family, ‘all pets have totally different needs and spatial requirements from small and independent pets like tropical fish to a totally dependent and demanding puppy, so choosing the right pet to fit your lifestyle is the first step towards a happy home.’ Read more about that in our pet adoption blog.
Can I afford a new pet?
Calculating the true cost of a pet is always important but arguably more so than ever before, with finances tightening in many households. Totalling up this figure can be done easily online with charities such as pdsa highlighting such costs on their website. Outlining your affordability upfront lets you choose the right kind of pet for you and avoids unexpected and costly pet bills.
Where’s the best place to look for a new pet in lockdown?
With the government’s advice being to stay at home, many are turning to online sites and even social media to search for their pet of choice. When buying or adopting, it’s important to make sure you are doing so from a registered breeder or shelter home. We would always recommend doing substantial research beforehand and to be aware of puppy farms and unregistered breeders. This way you can make sure you are not unintentionally supporting the puppy farming industry. The RSPCA outlines some red flags to look out for here.
Finding a pet online isn’t all doom and gloom, we’d recommend that you meet your mate in person before you commit, and if something doesn’t feel right you can report the advertisement to an animal welfare charity.
If you do decide you’re ready to welcome your pet check out our top tips for bringing a new family member safely and responsibility into your home.
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