Do Pets Make Good Presents? Things to Consider.
Planning to surprise someone with a new puppy or kitten under the Christmas tree is a kind gesture, usually with good intentions. Parents may think their children to have finally reached an appropriate age to take on responsibility, or maybe you think it’s time to get your son the corgi he’s always wanted. But the truth of the matter is that not all pets given as gifts this Christmas will find their forever home. In fact, many of them will find themselves in a shelter only a few weeks after the holidays are over – and many aren’t readopted.
Pets are companions, not toys.
Children do not need to associate an animal as ‘just another toy under the tree.’ A pet is a living, breathing lifetime commitment that comes with daily responsibilities and costly fees. It is not something you can take out of the toy box to play with for an hour and put it away when you’re done with it.
Find the right time to introduce a pet to their new home.
When you bring a new pet into your family, you need to make the transition as smooth as possible. Oftentimes, your home during the holidays is bustling with activity: excited children, visitors coming and going, and loud noises. There’s tons of smells and sounds that could be confusing to a young kitten or puppy. With so much going on, the little fur ball might not adapt well in such a busy environment. It’s best to wait until after the holidays, and if you still want to adopt, do it during a quieter time of the year.
If you’ve seriously thought it over and wish to give a pet as a gift, there are other ways to do so this holiday season without causing unnecessary stress for the pet. Think about wrapping up a dog bone or kitty collar and placing that under the tree instead, as a symbolic way to tell your child she is ready for the responsibility. Or, purchase an adoption certificate from your local shelter and present it to your child on Christmas morning. Most shelters prefer you do this instead, as the person who will be primarily responsible for the pet will need to bond with it.
With some carefully thought out planning, bringing a pet home for the holidays doesn’t have to end in a misadventure. Take some time to carefully consider all of your options, and weigh the pros and cons of each. If done properly, you can happily open your home for the holidays to a new companion.
Tags: Adoption, Christmas, forever home, holiday, new pet, tips