Do pets like Christmas as much as we think?
Here we are again at that wonderful, hectic and fun time of year! Many people want their pets to be a part of their holiday celebrations, as they are after all a part of the family. On the internet, we will find photos of cute dogs and cats with Christmas hats or gift wrapping bows around their necks by the dozens. But is that such a great idea? It’s funny, for sure, but are we doing our pets any favours by dressing them up?
We just love Christmas and everything that goes with it: Christmas decorations, music, delicious food and presents. And no matter how much we would like to involve our pets in this lovely time, they don’t understand. They are unaware of the joys of Christmas, seasons or celebrations - though they will notice that we are happy, or they can be stressed out by the hustle and bustle of our preparations. Either way, while a Christmas outfit may seem fun to you, your pet won’t get it. Most dogs and cats have a strong dislike for clothing. If you want to take a beautiful picture of your pets under the Christmas tree, keep it simple and don’t dress them up.
Photo: Rosana Prada
Does a kitten make a fun Christmas present ...?
These days social media is brimming with heartwarming videos of children receiving Christmas presents. Is a cute puppy or kitten a great Christmas present? Perhaps, but is it wise? It’s a huge responsibility, after all. After the holidays, it becomes clear that a pet requires real time and a big commitment. The baby animal will grow up. A dog needs to be habituated to the human world and exercised regularly. A kitten will behave as kittens do, scratching furniture and climbing the curtains. Also, the litter box will need to be cleaned. Is the pet still as much fun after the holidays?
A pet is for life, not just for Christmas
Dogs often live for as long as 15 years and cats even up to 25. Once you take in a pet, you remain responsible for its welfare for the rest of its life. This takes time and commitment, and it costs money - think of vet costs, grooming, pet sitters or dog walkers. After the holidays, many people realise how big a responsibility it is and all of a sudden, the new pet a lot less fun. Unfortunately, many pets that were bought on a whim end up in a shelter, which is very stressful and hard on them. But fortunately, there’s something we can do about that!
Photo: Rosana Prada
Let’s give our pets a lovely Christmas experience this year and never buy any pets as Christmas presents. Do you really want to add a pet to your family? Think it through and do thorough research on their needs. Check your local shelter for pets waiting for a second chance. They deserve it and will be grateful to you beyond measure! And let’s decorate the Christmas tree instead of our pets - let them just be dogs and cats!
So can’t we celebrate Christmas with our pets? Of course we can! By giving them extra attention, going for a lovely walk with your dog or by giving your pet a Christmas present, such as a toy or something to chew on.
Pawshake wishes all pets and pet parents a Merry Christmas!