Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Three questions to ask yourself before adding a pet to the family this holiday

Via PRNewswire - Whether it's a dog, cat, hamster, bird or other critter, a new pet is always an exciting addition, especially around the holidays when many families choose to bring a new pet into their home.

However, December is often a busy month when people do not have the time or energy to focus on a new pet. Before making this big decision, Petco provides some simple questions to ask when considering whether to add an animal to the family.

How much time each day can be committed to the pet? Work schedules, school schedules and other factors greatly affect how long people are home during the day. Some pets require more personal attention than others. For instance, larger, more energetic dog breeds will need to be walked at least two times a day.

For those who can't make that time commitment, small dogs or cats may require less exercise time, but still need quite a bit of one on one attention and toys to keep them mentally stimulated if the pet parent is gone during the day.

For those considering a puppy, it's important to consider the time commitment to properly potty train the dog. To help, all Petco stores nationwide will host a free Potty Training Seminar on January 11 & 12 where qualified trainers will offer professional advice, tips and tricks to help make potty training easier and fun.

What is affordable? Some pets cost more than others. In addition to upfront adoption fees, there are a number of factors that determine the cost of a pet. Large dogs will need more food, certain breeds require professional grooming services more often, young dogs and cats may require special training courses and reptiles can require specialized habitats and heat lamps.

Before deciding on a pet, be sure to research all costs associated with that pet, including costs that could come later in the animals life, rather than just immediately. For example, pet parents may not know that it is important to invest in their pet's oral health, which can help avoid costly dental surgeries down the line. Petco is offering free Oral Health Seminars on January 18 & 19 so new pet parents can learn more about this aspect of their pet's health.

What does the family want to get out of the pet? Being a pet parent is a benefit to both the human and the animal and many pet parents say that their animal does more for them than they ever expected. Petco recognizes how special the human animal bond can be, so it's important to ask what the family wants to get by adding a new pet to the family.

Perhaps it's having a cuddle buddy, maybe it's teaching kids responsibility, it could be the thought of having a pet help encourage someone to get physically fit, or perhaps it's having an independent animal who can cheer others up.

For those who decide a new puppy is best for their wants and needs, make sure the dog is well socialized before taking them out and about. A good place to start is at Petco's free Puppy Socialization Seminar. This 30-minute constructive playtime on January 25 & 26 is designed to teach valuable social skills to puppies.

Remember, whatever the decision ends up being, animal shelters have various different animals so be sure to "Think Adoption First" before settling on a pet. For those looking for the perfect avenue to adopt their new family member, Petco and Unleashed by Petco will host their monthly National Adoption Weekend on December 7 & 8.

Sometimes waiting until after the holidays to add a new pet to the house may be the best option. Getting kids a habitat to unwrap during the celebrations and letting them choose their own pet after the holidays can turn one special day into two. This is why Petco is putting the spotlight on companion animals from December 26 – January 5 by giving all new pet parents the V.I.P treatment.

Knowledgeable Petco partners will help each potential pet parent pick out the perfect companion animal to suit their personality. In addition, new companion animal families will receive a "Welcome to the Family Fun Pack" with interactive, education activities, trading cards, bookmark and stickers, while also being able to take their first family portrait with their new pet in its own special frame.

For more information on choosing the right pet, as well as the upcoming wellness seminars visit


  1. we ask similar questions on our applications....and will educate people as needed (mom says sometimes our vet bills would give people a stroke)

  2. Excellent advice friend. If more people would do homework/research before adopting, we'd have fewer pets ending up in shelters a month or two later.