Petersen Pet Hospital - December 2019

Monthly Pets First

December 2019


“Sam joined our family back in early October, so technically she’s a really early Christmas present.”

As Stacey and I prepare to celebrate Christmas, we have to keep an eye out for a small family member who likes to get underfoot: our new puppy! Stacey and I adopted a four-month-old border collie puppy from a rescue over in Illinois. Her name is Sam, and she’s been keeping us very busy. It’s been 20 years since Stacey and I had a puppy, so we’re really refreshing our memories on puppy care. So far, we’ve got plenty of toys to keep her mentally stimulated. Her favorite is a stuffed duck with a squeaker inside. Stacey and I have also been teaching Sam obedience commands and got her into puppy classes so she’s well socialized. I almost forgot howmuch work comes with a new puppy, but Sam’s been doing great so far! We’re even entertaining the idea of getting her into agility courses when she gets older. Our previous dog was a border collie mix, and we loved the breed. They’re so athletic and smart, and we expect Samwill help keep us active as we get older. Sam joined our family back in early October, so technically she’s a really early Christmas present. This time of year, a lot of families might be considering bringing a new pet into their lives. Surprising the kids with a new puppy under the Christmas tree is guaranteed tomake the holidays merry, but it’s not something anyone should do on a whim. Pets are a big undertaking. As a veterinarian, I advise against getting a new puppy or kitten as an impulse. There’s a big financial undertaking that comes with a pet. You have the initial supplies and toys, as well as veterinary bills, ongoing food costs, and pet insurance, which I highly recommend. Pet health insurance can go a long way to covering emergency medical bills your pet may have in the future.

It’s also important to consider the time demands. New puppies need to be trained and socialized in order to grow up to be well-behaved dogs. If you aren’t able to give your new dog the attention it needs in the first six months, you could have a lot of issues later on. If you are ready to bring a new pet into your household, make sure you pick an animal that’s right for your family. Some people fall in love with the look of a breed of dog they

see online but don’t realize the dog’s personality doesn’t match their lifestyle. Great Danes don’t do well in small apartments, older seniors might not be able to keep up with energetic huskies, and busy families often aren’t able to give wirehaired griffons the exercise they need. Behavioral issues are common when a dog isn’t suited for their new family’s lifestyle. Whether you’re thinking about adopting a pet around the holidays, or any time of year, my biggest advice is to match the temperament and activity level of your pet to your lifestyle. Make sure you will be able to give your dog or cat the attention it needs so you can enjoy many happy years together.

If you’re bringing a new pet into your family, we look forward tomeeting them soon! In the meantime, I wish you all a merry Christmas and happy holidays!


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