Britain is a nation of pet lovers yet, surprisingly, one in five people (21 per cent) do no research before taking on a pet, writes Linda Cantle, director of pet and owner support services at Wood Green in Huntingdon.
As an organisation with 95 years of experience, Wood Green, the animals charity, understands how wonderful it can be to have a pet, especially during the festive period, however, it is encouraging people to think long and hard before bringing a new pet home this December.
Owning a pet is one of the most rewarding things that people can do, but it requires a range of considerations to ensure that it’s the right choice in the long term, based on the owner’s lifestyle and the pet’s physical and emotional wellbeing. The cuteness of puppies given as gifts can be so appealing, yet when they reach adolescence, reality hits home about how much commitment a pet needs.
Every spring, Wood Green sees an increase in the number of young dogs brought to its Cambridgeshire rehoming centre by owners who can no longer cope. Puppies and young dogs, in particular, require a lot of exercise, training and patience.
Any pet is a commitment that cannot be taken lightly and whether a pet is from a rehoming centre, a breeder or a friend/family member, the most important thing for people to do is research.
The detailed matchmaking process is key for Wood Green, which rehomes thousands of pets each year – a process that was recently featured on Channel 4’s ‘The Dog House’.
Wood Green is also there to give pet owners the help they need. Through the provision of behavioural advice, informative workshops and training classes, their support services can help to ensure that the benefits of the relationship are mutual for both pets and owners. Anyone considering a new pet, or experiencing challenges with an existing pet, is encouraged to contact Wood Green for free guidance and support.
It is essential that potential pet owners are knowledgeable about exactly what a pet requires to avoid problems later down the line that can impact both the pet and owner’s wellbeing, and even whether someone is able to continue caring for their pet. We offer support to people looking for pets, regardless of whether they are from Wood Green or elsewhere, as well as support for pet owners at any stage of their pet’s life.