Petco is encouraging customers to answer three questions before adding a pet to their household this holiday season to make sure they are ready for the commitment.
While it is exciting to bring home a new pet, especially around the holidays, December is often a busy month when people do not have the time or energy to focus on a new pet. Before making this big decision, Petco provides some questions to ask when considering whether to add an animal to the family.
The retailer has included sections on its Web site on choosing the right pet, as well as upcoming wellness seminars for customers who have adopted new pets.
The biggest factor to consider when choosing a new pet, according to the retailer, is how much time each day can be committed to the pet.
Work schedules, school schedules and other factors greatly affect how long people are home during the day. Some pets require more personal attention than others, including dogs, which need to be walked regularly.
Small animals like hamsters, guinea pigs and reptiles may be better suited for those who plan to be gone all day long. Typically, these pets will be safe in their habitat during the day, provided that the pet parent gives them all the requirements necessary to keep them happy and healthy.
For those considering a puppy, it's important to consider the time commitment to properly potty train the dog. All Petco stores nationwide will host a free Potty Training Seminar (sponsored by Wellpet) on Jan. 11 and 12 where qualified trainers will offer professional advice, tips and tricks to help make potty training easier and fun.
Affordability is another factor to consider. Some pets cost more than others. In addition to upfront adoption fees, there are a number of factors that determine the cost of a pet. Large dogs will need more food, certain breeds require professional grooming services more often, young dogs and cats may require special training courses and reptiles can require specialized habitats and heat lamps.
Finally, what the family wants to get out of the pet is a factor, according to Petco. Being a pet parent is a benefit to both the human and the animal and many pet parents say that their animal does more for them than they ever expected. Perhaps it's having a cuddle buddy, maybe it's teaching kids responsibility, it could be the thought of having a pet help encourage someone to get physically fit, or perhaps it's having an independent animal who can cheer others up.
For those who decide a new puppy is best for their wants and needs, be sure the dog is well socialized before taking them out and about. To that end, Petco is offering a free Puppy Socialization Seminar (sponsored by Wellpet). This 30-minute constructive playtime on Jan. 25 and 26 is designed to teach social skills to puppies.
If a puppy isn't right for the family, cats can be more independent, reptiles may appeal to those who like scaly friends, fish are perfect for those who love the water and dogs can help keep a person active all day long.
Petco also is encouraging customers to "Think Adoption First” from area shelters and rescue groups, many who work with the pet store, either displaying their adoptees in their cages or holding adoption events at the store.
Sometimes waiting until after the holidays to add a new pet to the house may be the best option. Getting kids a habitat or other pet supplies to unwrap during the celebrations and letting them choose their own pet after the holidays can turn one special day into two.
This is why Petco is putting the spotlight on companion animals from Dec. 26 through Jan. 5, by giving all new pet parents the V.I.P treatment. Petco partners will help each potential pet parent pick out the perfect companion animal to suit their personality.
In addition, new companion animal families will receive a "Welcome to the Family Fun Pack" with interactive education activities, trading cards, bookmark and stickers, while also being able to take their first family portrait with their new pet.