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What to Consider Before Getting a Pet for the Holidays (or Ever)


The gift-giving season has arrived, and for many children (and adults), a cute, snuggly dog or cat is on the list of what they are wishing for. Even though we know that dogs and cats aren't staring at a calendar lamenting their holiday plans, there is something especially festive and heartwarming about giving a home to an animal over the holidays, especially if it means getting them out of a shelter.

Over the years, there has been a lot of controversy when it comes to whether or not gifting a pet for the holidays is a good, or terrible, idea. Thankfully, from the data currently being reported, it seems as though a Hanukkah Husky, Christmas Calico, or Kwanzaa King Charles Spaniel isn't such a bad idea ... as long as you do it the right way.

The key to adding a new pet to your life the right way, is by being prepared — not just on the day you bring your new animal home, but for every day after. A pet is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Below you'll find tips on what to consider before getting a new dog or cat for the holidays (or any time of the year), and how best to prepare for your new pet!

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Topics: New Kitten, holiday pet safety tips, New Dog, new puppy

How to Introduce Your New Dog to Your Other Pets


Introductions Are a Process, Not a One-Time Encounter

When you get a new dog, you may be eager and excited to welcome this new member of your family into your home. But your dogs or cats already at home—your "resident pets"—may not exactly share in your immediate joy and excitement. Taking the time to set up a structured, deliberate process for introducing your new dog to your current pets will increase the chances of safer, more rewarding meet-and-greets and long term relationships. 

All introductions with your new dog—whether you’re introducing them to your resident dogs or cats, or even your human kids—should occur in a structured, safe environment at a pace that is comfortable for everyone. Introductions should be thought of as a process, not a one-time, high-stakes encounter.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, Pheromones, Introductions, New Dog

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.