SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

December 14, 2012

Think carefully before gifting a pet

When the holiday season is in full swing and the flurry of shopping takes over, we might be tempted to get a pet for someone on our list. All veterinarians have clients who have been gifted dogs, cats, birds, hedgehogs, snakes, bunny rabbits and many other species of pets that they never expected and did not really want. Our practice has seen families where the spouse has purchased a surprise puppy or kitten for the family without informing their partner. Many times, that partner is extremely unhappy about the unexpected surprise. Usually, these pets have to be re-homed or go back to the shelter.

Pets can bring joy and companionship into someone’s life, but they are also a responsibility. They require time, energy and money in order to be cared for properly. Even people who plan ahead and research pet ownership before plunging into it are somewhat stunned by the portion of their time that needs to be devoted to walking the dog, cleaning the cat litter box, feeding, training, veterinary care, grooming and cleaning up pet fur around the house. Imagine how someone not expecting the pet as a gift would feel once the reality of pet ownership has dawned upon them.

If the gift is an exotic pet, there can be even more work involved. Birds require entertainment, social interaction and a variety of toys to keep them from being bored. They require a varied diet, including lots of vegetables, fruits, protein such as eggs, cooked brown rice and beans, and cage cleaning every day. Reptiles need a very specialized environment, which depends on appropriate lighting, temperature and humidity, and their diet varies greatly between species. Birds and reptiles are sometimes looked at as an ornament to add interest to a room with no thought about the noise, mess or work that will be involved.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Thursday's Best Bets Best Bets for Thursday, July 31

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • homecoming1 Festivals in Salem and Beverly celebrate cities' heritage

    Salem Heritage Days and Beverly Homecoming, both of which start this weekend, are roughly the same age. "This is the 49th year," said Bruce Doig, director of parks and recreation in Beverly. "The most recent form of homecoming started in 1966 as a wa

    July 31, 2014 6 Photos

  • 140723_SN_DLE_MINER5 For artist Nathan Miner, it’s not what you see, but how Visitors can see five paintings by Nathan Miner, and watch one being created, at Montserrat College of Art this summer. That's because the gallery where the artist's works are hanging includes a studio where he will be working until Aug. 14, in a co

    July 31, 2014 5 Photos

  • mintjulep North Shore Entertainment Calendar Good cause PAINTING FOR TEAM MICKEY. Thursday, July 31, 7 to 9 p.m., Tavern in the Square, 189 Washington St., Salem. Derek Jones in partnership with Painting Under the Influence hosts Painting for Team Mickey, a fundraiser to support the Pan Mass Ch

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140728_SN_OUT_READERSEYE The reader's eye: Sarah Rydgren Name: Sarah Rydgren Hometown: Salem Description: "The pier at Old Orchard Beach in Maine at sunrise. "I spend my time photographing my surroundings, hiking and sharing my passion for New England. I am self-taught." Camera info: Nikon D90, manual mode

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • icescream Good cause: Ice Scream Bowl Ice Scream Bowl Lick, slurp and savor several scoops of ice cream on Tuesday, Aug. 5, at Salem Common, where some of the area's premier ice cream shops will partner for Salem's Ice Scream Bowl. The family-friendly event runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and f

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heritage1 Music, ice cream and family fun abound at Salem Heritage Days SALEM -- Salem Heritage Days kicks off its 54th season Friday night at 7 with a concert by Civil Disturbance Jazz Band at Salem Common. From then until Sunday, Aug. 10, 40 different events will be held around Salem with fun for the entire family. Foo

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Contract dispute delays 'Big Bang' production NEW YORK (AP) -- Production on a new season of "The Big Bang Theory" is being delayed because of a contract dispute with its top actors. The Warner Brothers Television studio, which makes television's most popular comedy, said that Wednesday's schedu

    July 31, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Obsession over six-pack abs puts swimmer in unsafe water Dear Abby: I'm a 21-year-old man who has been a successful swimmer in high school and now in college. Over the past few months, I have become obsessed with developing six-pack abs. I have never had much success with women, and I thought that looking

    July 31, 2014

  • granprix1 Gran Prix a Beverly tradition for cyclists and spectators alike Those fast-moving blurs in downtown Beverly tonight will be racing bikes, taking to the pavement in the sixth Beverly Gran Prix. The event was founded by Paul Boudreau, a native of Salem who lives in Beverly, who has been racing for 20 years and was

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

NDN Video
Comments Tracker