Do Pets Make Good Christmas Gifts?
With the holidays upon us, everyone is brainstorming the perfect gift for their children and loved ones. Though animals bring much joy and comfort and may look so cute by the Christmas tree, dogs (or any animal) are NOT something to be gifted without thorough discussion and planning. Gifting someone with a large commitment like a pet should not be done on impulse. This time of the year is notorious for last minute buys, so please make an informed, dedicated decision if you choose to purchase/adopt a pet. Here are a few rules to keep in mind regarding our furry friends.
There are many costs associated with owning a pet such as vet appointments, emergency bills, food, training, and pet sitting. If someone isn’t prepared for the financial responsibility, the animal could end up returned or neglected. Just because an adoption fee is $25 doesn’t mean the animal should be purchased. Animals, whether a dog, horse or hedgehog are a long-term financial commitment that an individual needs to be prepared to take on.
An animal requires time and commitment. Before gifting a pet, it’s important to make sure the pet can be properly cared for. If your partner has an overwhelming schedule or your family member can’t physically keep up with the demands of an animal, it wouldn’t be a wise decision to gift an animal. Adding an animal to your family changes your lifestyle. If an animal is a surprise gift, the giver may not take your lifestyle into consideration, making it more of a challenge to keep up with the surprise pet. Pets are not toys. Toys are played with, put away and eventually outgrown. Animals are not disposable. After the holidays there is always an influx of returned Christmas gifts to the shelter because many aren’t prepared for the commitment and responsibility. Try a stuffed animal or interactive robot instead!
Have you thoroughly investigated the pet you are wanting to add to your family? Are you familiar with the breed? Do you know what type of care is needed? Does the pet have specific health issues? Do they have grooming requirements? A special diet? Some animals require more time and mental stimulation. Will the pet fit into your lifestyle? For example, if you are wanting to purchase/adopt a dog that with lower energy, a Malinois or Husky would not be a good option. Purchasing or adopting a pet should happen after thoughtful research has been done so you are educated and familiar with your pet beforehand. a pet because they are cute should NOT be your reason to purchase a pet.
Please consider giving a gift certificate or a voucher rather than a live pet. Doing so enables the family to pick out the new pet.