With Christmas approaching fast our thoughts and notepads are full of lists of presents for friends, family, and of course our beloved pets.
Over the last few years we’ve noticed an ever increasing trend of novelty gift ideas for pets – no doubt heavily influenced by our pet-mad cousins in the US – with all sorts of products now readily available to buy both online and in pet shops.
Extremely popular it seems are clip-on antlers for dogs and even Santa hats for cats but if we really love our pets surely we could be investing more wisely in their health? Sure it’s not as much fun as a mini-reindeer running around our living room on Christmas morning but it’ll make sure they live longer and might even save their life.
I’m talking about routine preventative medicine like flea treatments, routine vaccination, worming, microchipping, correct diet, neutering, reflective coats, etc. – major hallmarks of responsible pet ownership – as my heart often sinks when a dog wearing a shiny new novelty outfit enters my consulting room infested with fleas or has bad teeth and gums.
So this year please spare a thought for the long-term health of your pet. I’m not saying don’t dress them up or spoil them with festive treats just prioritize what’s most important as the more Christmases you can spend together the better.
Finally please also spare a thought for rescue pets at this time of year. They need love and attention just like us and our pets, so why not drop off some toys and blankets to your local shelter, cuddle cats or walk dogs over Christmas; who knows you might even meet your new pet for 2013?