Jack Hanna Provides 6 Purrfect Pet-Friendly Tips for Giving Pets as Gifts This Season

Dec 08, 2006, 00:00 ET from Motel 6

    CARROLLTON, Texas, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- With the holiday shopping
 season well underway, many people are likely thinking of giving a puppy or
 a kitten as a gift. While pets can be truly wonderful gifts, there are
 several questions that one should ask before making the decision to
 purchase a pet. Motel 6, which has been pet-friendly since its founding in
 1962, partnered with Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, to
 provide 6 valuable tips for giving a pet as a gift this season.
      *  Determine whether a dog or cat would best fit your lifestyle.  Dogs
         are companions, coworkers, protectors, therapists, healers, buddies;
         and they're part of the family in one-third of all American
         households.  On the other hand, cats do not perceive owners as
         "masters," but think of them more in way teenagers think of parents.
         Cats will snuggle up to you when they're feeling cuddly or want
         something, usually attention.
      *  Consider how much time you have to spend with the pet.  Cats are
         independent creatures, but they do require veterinary care.  However,
         dogs need a lot of time from their owner -- for socializing,
         housebreaking, training, grooming, walks, exercise, meals, play, vet
         trips and cleanups.  If the owner feels pressed for time in his/her
         life, it may not be a good time to think about purchasing a pet.
      *  Do your research on cats.  Cats have an average lifespan of about
         fifteen years, which means a long-term commitment.  Cats can be kept
         in small apartments, and they don't have to be walked outside on cold
         and rainy days.  They can amuse themselves when you are not around,
         and they enjoy what a pet owner can offer without being emotionally
      *  Do your research on dogs.  Size counts in many ways when it comes to
         dogs as pets.  If one has a small apartment, a large dog can be a big
         problem.  In addition, different breeds have different temperaments,
         so read up on the characteristics of the breed and then think about
         how compatible it may be with its owner.
      *  Recognize a healthy pet.  Whether you're buying a puppy or kitten from
         a breeder or adopting one from a shelter, you want it to be as healthy
         as possible.  Optimally, kittens should be at least eight weeks old
         before being taken from their mom and litter mates.  Puppies, like
         kittens, should not be taken from their mother before they are six
         weeks old.  If you are getting a pet from a shelter, try to find out
         as much as you can about its past and its personality.  If you're
         getting an older dog, you're entitled to and should ask for, a
         certificate of health.
      *  Learn how to read trouble signs.  Knowing what to look for in a pet is
         important.  Once that puppy or kitten becomes yours, knowing what to
         look out for is even more important.  To avoid pet catastrophes,
         familiarize yourself with your pet's demeanor and keep your vet's
         number handy.  For example, a cat or kitten may be sick if its gums
         and tongue look pale.  A puppy or dog may be sick if its tongue and
         ears are swollen and its eyes look yellow.
     "While pets bring a lot of joy to families, it is important that the
 person on the receiving end actually wants the animal," said Hanna. "If you
 are set on buying a pet, you should find out as much as you can about the
 animal. In addition, if you are considering giving someone a pet for
 Christmas, consider going to your local animal shelter. There are many
 homeless dogs and cats there that are looking for a home."
     Hanna, known to the animal world and the general public as "Jungle
 Jack," is instantly recognizable by his khaki safari outfit and deep tan.
 He is one of America's most beloved naturalists and adventurers. In
 addition to hosting his television series, "Jack Hanna's Animal
 Adventures", he is also a regular guest on shows including "Good Morning
 America," "Larry King Live," and "The Late Show With David Letterman."
     About Motel 6
     Motel 6 offers the best price of any national chain at more than 850
 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Standard amenities include free local
 phone calls, no long distance access charges, free morning coffee, data
 ports, and a channel line-up including HBO, ESPN/ESPN2, and CNN. All Motel
 6 properties welcome pets, and most locations offer swimming pools and
 guest laundry facilities. For reservations or information, visit
 http://www.motel6.com or call 800-4-MOTEL6. Click 6 Web Bargains are
 available only online at motel6.com.
     About Accor North America
     Headquartered in Dallas (Carrollton), Texas, Accor North America
 operates more than 1,200 upscale and economy properties including
 nationwide economy leaders Red Roof Inn, Studio 6 and Motel 6 and the
 upscale Sofitel and mid- scale Novotel and Ibis hotel locations in the
 U.S., Canada and Mexico. For more information, visit
 http://www.accor-na.com .

SOURCE Motel 6