Stolley Park
Veterinary Hospital

3020 W. Stolley Park Road  Grand Island, Nebraska  68801  
Phone:  308-384-6272   Fax:  308-384-0984

December Newsletter

CHRISTMAS PETS

Christmas and the holiday season are filled with joy, family and lots of excitement. Many of you will travel to see other family or friends or perhaps have visitors of your own. If you’re considering giving a very special gift of a puppy or kitten or other live pet, here are a few tips to keep the pet safe and make this a happy, memorable gift.

If this new pet is a surprise, be sure that you’ve researched and made sure that this live gift will be a welcome addition to the recipient and or family. It’s always a good idea to check all the options as to whether the person has any allergies to pet dander to consider, do they like small easy keepers or a pet that would need lots of exercise or attention? Will they be able to keep the pet throughout the expected lifetime of 12-15 years of a dog, or even longer for a cat? If the pet is for a child, be sure to gain the parents approval before moving forward. Some surprises backfire, so it’s good to check things out first to make this a great experience to be remembered in a positive light for years to come.

Puppy or adult dog: Does the person have preferences as to the breed or size of dog, or have allergies to some pets? Some breeds of dogs have single coats and don’t shed very much, so have less dander and work best with folks with allergies. Maybe the person has always wanted a certain breed, or they’d prefer an adult dog over a puppy if they don’t have time to do the initial housetraining required. If it’s a gift for a senior person or grandparent, they might not have the energy for a puppy or dog that requires lots of exercise. Consider a smaller breed or mixed breed that matches the energy level of the person who will live with this dog. Sometimes an older rescue dog is the perfect fit for an adult person. If it’s someone who wants a running companion, a dog that needs to have several miles of consistent exercise every day is a perfect fit. It’s important to consider all of these things before acquiring what you ‘think’ the recipient will like.

Kittens or adult cat: Cats or kittens can be a great option for almost any age child or adult as they don’t have the same energy needs as dogs. For a person who works long hours or likes to take weekend trips, cats can be pretty self-sufficient at home if left with food, water and access to clean litter boxes. They will need interactive toys or playtime to burn off their need to hunt and play, but don’t need to take long walks in the park. Cats need to be brushed regularly to help with shedding, as well as consider the front declaw surgery to keep curtains and furniture safe. Cats can give many years of joy and companionship.

Domestic shorthair, longhair or specific breeds with varying temperaments offer many options. Cats are wonderful lap warmers and sharing a favorite movie as they tend to sleep a good part of each day.

In place of the actual puppy or kitty, you can wrap up training books, a bag of food, pet dishes or toys and a leash to give as your gift, allowing the option of the live pet to arrive after the holiday rush. Gift certificates for veterinary care, a grooming visit or puppy training class are also great options for additional gift items.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Lucy Kerby/ Puppy Kindergarten Class