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Tips For Adopting, Gifting Pets This Holiday Season

STUDIO CITY (KCAL9) — Thinking about adopting or giving a pet as a gift this holiday season?

Co-Founder of Fitdog Sports Club Andrea Servadio and Dog Trainer Jeff Soto stopped by KCAL9 Monday to give tips for adopting and gifting a pet.

Fitdog Sports Club is a premier full service dog care facility in Santa Monica.

Things to consider before adopting:

•             Before you adopt a pet, please take a moment to think about these four different categories: your lifestyle, activity level, financials and family environment.

•             Lifestyle: Do you travel for work a lot?  If so, do you have the means or a place where the dog can stay while you're away?  Do you live in an apartment? Is your friend's apartment dog friendly? Do you have a backyard? Is it fenced in?

•             Activity Level: Do you like to run, bike, hike, and be outdoors? Or do you stay home a lot?

•             Financials: Can you afford to have a dog? It cost on average $200/month for food, toys, etc. but if the dog needs to be boarded or you are paying for a dog walker, daycare, etc. that can be as high as $1,500 a month.

•             Family Environment: How old are your children or your friend's children?  What kind of schedule does the family have?  Can you incorporate the dog's schedule with the families' schedule?  Do you want your dog to go with you on family vacations? Who will be the primary caregiver of the dog?  Kids will say that they will do this, but often one of the parents has to do it.  Do you have time between the children's schedule to walk the dog, give the dog enough exercise and attention?

Researching your breeds:

•             Good for an apartment: Puggle, pugs, Maltese, Bichon Frise, Chihuahua, Greyhounds, Yorkshire Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and English Bulldog.

•             Need outdoor space/backyard: Shepherds, Vizsla, Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, Labrador Retriever and Boxer.

•             Need lots of exercise & mental stimulation: Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers, Mini Pinschers, Pointers, Siberian Husky, American Pit Bull Terrier and Boxer.

•             Best for Children: Newfoundland, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Great Dane, Bullmastiff, Boston Terrier, Beagle, Collie, Irish Setter and Poodle.

Responsibilities that come with owning a dog:

•             Pets are great fun but there are also responsibilities that come along with adoption once you go through with the process. These include:

-   Financial– dogs require food, treats, dog walkers, dog caretakers, daycare, boarding, etc.

-   Dogs need to be walked/pottied 2-3 times a day. Puppies need to be taken out up to six times a day!

-   Walks should be 30 minutes to 1 hour in length.

-   High energy breeds & large breed puppies need even more stimulation & exercise.

Where to go to adopt a pet:

  • Rescue groups
  • Private Shelters
  • Public Shelters
  • Breeders.

After the adoption:

  • While most shelter/rescue dogs are lost pets, the mere fact that they have been displaced often leaves them with insecurities.
  • People need to give dogs and cats time to trust you and bond with you.  Doing activities together like a hike or long walks at night or playing at night helps to build a level of comfort.  The more positive interaction the better!
  • Having a consistent meal and walking/potty schedule helps to set dogs up for success.  This ensures that your dog trusts you to provide the basic necessities.

Key Takeaways:

•             January and February are the highest months for people returning dogs because they were not prepared for the responsibility.

•             People should consider the decision to adopt a pet a lifelong commitment.

•             Dogs live 8 to 15 years depending on breed and size and cats live anywhere from 10 to 20 years. This is your commitment.

•             Take the time to go over whether or not adopting a dog is a good fit for your lifestyle and family before making your final decision.

•             Learn about breeds that can suit your particular lifestyle.

•             These things can prevent dogs from being displaced multiple times, which causes more hardship on the dog and it also ensures a perfect match with you!

•             Once you find the right dog, he or she will be a family member for life and you will not even imagine your life without them!

For more information, visit Fitdog Sports Club.

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