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Why Pets Don't Make Good Holiday Gifts

Pets thrive in a loving atmosphere filled with proper care and attention. While it may seem like a lighthearted and memorable gift, a cute puppy or a kitten is a living being that requires a lot of work and financial dedication. Before gifting a pet to your children or loved ones, please think on the following points and have a happy holiday!

Does the family have adequate space for a new pet?

A lot of dogs and cats are not suitable for apartment living. They require a decent sized backyard to exercise or run around. If you give an inappropriate pet, they will end up living in cramped spaces and this often results in destructive behavior inside the house.

Do they even want a pet as a gift?

They may have expressed a desire to get a pet, but it does not mean they want one now. A pet is like a child, and comes with just as much financial responsibility. Are they willing to pay for basic pet necessities like food, toys, leashes, collars, bedding, veterinary care, spaying, neutering, medications and emergency care?

Do they understand the responsibilities of pet ownership?

To children, a pet may seem like a cuddly soft toy, but in reality, a pet is a live animal that needs to be cared for when playtime is over. Depending on the child's age and maturity level, they may not be capable of the responsibility required for owning a pet. Ensuring that there is a responsible adult who will assist the child in caring for the pet is an important consideration.

Are they ready to commit to a pet for it's entire life?

Getting a new puppy or kitten is a very exciting moment for a new pet owner, but people often overlook the fact that this moment marks a lifelong commitment to that animal. Most people are not prepared for that kind of commitment and invariably end up either giving the pet away to an overcrowded shelter or abandoning them.

Pets are a lifelong commitment, and the entire family has to be on board with the decision to adopt a pet. Decide ahead of time who will be responsible for each aspect of pet care, and research which pet will be the best fit for your life.

If any of your friends or relatives have a pet, offer to "pet-sit" when they need it, to understand the realities of owning a pet first hand.

Instead of gifting a pet, put together a gift box of items such as pet food bowls, collars, toys etc. and explain that the live pet can be adopted after the holidays, once the family has enough time to devote to it.

Volunteer at your local humane society during the holidays. This will help you to understand the responsibilities that go along with pet ownership. Plus, it's a great way to give back to the needy animals in your community!
Many people have received pets during holidays that became great companions. We just caution you to do some research before adopting a pet into your family. If you think that you and your family are ready to accept a new member, even during the holiday hustle and bustle then we urge you to choose a pet from a shelter or a local humane society. Better yet, donate to these organizations during the holidays and adopt a pet from them after.