While giving your kids or anyone a kitty or puppy may light up their faces on Christmas day, it’s important to carefully consider the decision before giving an animal as a gift.
Being a pet parent and bringing a dog or cat into your family is not a decision to be taken lightly. Pets require a lot of responsibility including veterinary care, flea treatment and other preventive care, food and shelter, and most important, training and quality time with their new human family.
Sadly, shelters end up bearing the brunt of these all-too-often misguided gift decisions. After the holidays have passed, the recipient decides the pet isn’t so cute, or they are too much work, or they can’t handle the responsibility, or they don’t fit into the recipient's lifestyle. Since so many shelters are already filled to capacity, people who surrender these “gifts” to a shelter are subjecting them to the possibility of euthanasia - making this situation even sadder.
So, rather than giving a puppy or kitten as a gift, consider waiting to adopt a pet after the holidays. Or instead make a generous donation to a local shelter or rescue organization during the holidays. You may also consider giving a loved-one a gift certificate from a local shelter that will allow them to adopt an animal at a later date.
Delaying the fit giving of pet promotes responsible adoption and provides some fun and anticipation to get a pet later in the new year. it also gives you a chance to have a realistic discussion with the gift recipient about the type of pet that will work best with their lifestyle, so they will be able to provide all the proper love and care to give their new family member a great life.
The decision to wait to give a pet as a gift might be the best gift you give your family and your potential new pet.