With just three weeks until Christmas, the RSPCA is reminding pet-shoppers to be wise this festive season and shop smartly.

“We know shoppers are actively looking for gifts, but pets are for life, not surprise Christmas presents,” says RSPCA Queensland Spokesperson Emma Lagoon.

The charity will be caring for thousands of homeless animals over the festive season and have also seen a 17.5% increase in surrender applications compared to this time last year.

“If you’re looking for a pet, giving the gift of a second chance to an animal up for adoption is a wonderful thing to do, but only if you’re ready to offer them life-long commitment,” Ms Lagoon says.

RSPCA Queensland currently has nearly 500 animals available to adopt across Queensland.

The RSPCA’s Top Tips for responsible pet buying:

  • Watch for online scams. Never pay for a pet sight unseen, chances are it’s a scam. You should always be able meet the pet at their owner’s home prior to purchase.
  • Ensure you’re ready for a pet and can provide their essential care for many years to come.
  • Research breed traits and health issues and see which pet suits your lifestyle best.
  • Don’t forget training and socialisation for your pet, plus ongoing care costs and veterinary needs into the future.
  • Visit your local RSPCA or reputable rescue group to adopt a pet.
  • If you can’t find the pet you’re after by adopting, look for a reputable breeder.
  • Getting a pet should be a decision made by the whole family.

More tips on purchasing a dog or puppy: RSPCA Smart Puppy Buyers Guide and for cats and kittens: RSPCA Smart Cat and Kitten Buyers Guide.