The latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) report shows that almost a quarter of new pet owners do no research at all before getting a new pet. This can cause misery for both pet and owner as the owner does not know what to expect or how to look after their new pet properly.
When owners struggle to cope, pets can be left neglected or abandoned. Lack of research and impulse-buying is also helping to fuel the cruel puppy farming trade, as well as kittens and other animals being raised in poor conditions. The more people are willing to spend on animals from low welfare backgrounds, the more these unscrupulous people will continue to breed. Please vote with your feet and walk away, however hard it may be.
There is plenty of information out there to help you choose your new pet wisely. The PDSA have launched their #PawsFirst online tool, your local veterinary surgery will also be able to offer good advice. If you are thinking of getting a pedigree dog or cat, go to the breed club website to find a reputable breeder.
And finally, please do not buy a pet as a Christmas present. Many animals are abandoned each year as the novelty wears off. Getting a pet should be a rational, informed decision to enable all family members, including the pet, to live a happy life.