Holiday Rules for your pets

Gift-giving is one exciting aspect of the holiday season, and who doesn’t love a warm fuzzy puppy? But when you combine the two, there are important points you need to consider before making a huge commitment to a live animal. If the circumstances are right, gifting a pet can be a thoughtful and really special way to show someone how much you love them. But you definitely don’t want to throw a huge commitment at someone if they’re not ready to make the sacrifices it takes to care for an animal. We’ve got some dos and don’ts that will help you decide if a pet is the right gift this year. 

The Dos

DO have a conversation with the person you intend to purchase or adopt the pet for. As fun as it is to surprise someone, you definitely want to get their input on whether they are up to the challenge of having a new pet. After the snuggles are up, it’s potty time, chew time, and shed time. Are they really ready for the “fun” that comes with having a new pet? 

DO research and prepare for any special items you’ll need, including potty pads, a crate or terrarium, and special food. It wouldn’t be fun to scramble for needed items, especially during the holidays when most stores are closed. Allow the pet recipient to enjoy the moment completely and have everything prepared and ready for the animal. 

DO get the whole family involved ahead of time to discuss how each member of the household can help. The new animal will affect all in the household, most likely, so make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of responsibility level and expectations. Think about the litter box – who changes it? How often? 

The Don’ts

DON’T assume a purebred pet purchased from a breeder is always the answer. So many animal shelters around town have beautiful and well-behaved dogs and cats that are waiting for their “fur-ever” homes and would love to be a part of your family. Not only will you save thousands of dollars, but you will save an animal from heartbreak and loneliness. 

DON’T purchase from a puppy mill if you decide to go for a new animal. Even though you intend to give the animal a loving home, you are also keeping a dangerous business alive, one that can often take puppies away from their mothers (and vital nutrients) too soon, while also charging you extra for a “product” you are not getting. Make sure the breeder you are working with is a reputable one. Often, they will have an application for you to fill out, but ask your own questions of the breeder. Read up on them and make sure they provide the best care for mom, dad, and pups. 

DON’T forget to set up an initial appointment with a veterinarian to get your animal checked out. We can personally recommend Acorn Hill Animal Hospital right here in San Antonio to provide the best veterinary care in town. Get your animal on any necessary medications or supplements needed. 

Of course, don’t forget to get your new pet on a pet insurance plan through SOGO Insurance. We can help you save money and avoid overspending on flea and heartworm prevention, exams, surgeries, and more. 

In case you missed it: “Keep Your Car Healthy During the Holidays” has some simple ways to keep you and your vehicle safe during the winter months. Check it out and get prepared for the coming weather, and take some time to discuss with one of our agents exactly how our auto insurance plans can get you covered this season and forever.