Three Questions From Petco to Ask Yourself Before Adding a Pet to the Family this Holiday

Petco encourages any family considering adding a pet to their home this holiday to make sure they are ready for the commitment first
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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, such as boxers, 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. Small animals like hamsters, guinea pigs, and reptiles may be better suited for those who plan on being gone all day long. Typically, these pets will be safe in their habitat during the day, provided the pet parent gives them all the requirements necessary to keep them happy and healthy. However, it is still important to nurture a connection with these pets, as many of them love to be handled. 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 (sponsored by Wellness) on January 11 & 12, 2014 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 animal’s 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 (sponsored by Greenies) on January 18 & 19, 2014 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. Whatever it is, consider this feedback before getting a new pet. 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 (sponsored by Wellness). This 30-minute constructive playtime on January 25 & 26, 2014 is designed to teach valuable social skills to puppies. If a puppy isn’t right for the family, cats can be more independent, reptiles may appeal to those who like scaly friends, fish are perfect for those who love the water, and dogs can help keep a person active all day long. 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.

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, 2013 to January 5, 2014 by giving all new pet parents the VIP 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, a 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 petco.com.