While most people adore puppies, kittens and other baby animals, please give lots of thought and careful consideration before adopting or purchasing one for a friend or family member during the holidays. It’s a busy time for everyone, with lots of family get togethers, parties, work obligations and sometimes, over-indulgences. With doorbells ringing, and people coming in and out of the house, holidays can be stressful enough for people, let alone an animal that’s in a strange environment.
Our furry, fuzzy friends can provide us with years of love and joy, however, companion animals of all ages require a lot of responsibility. They need more than just food and water – they need to be loved, cared for and respected as a member of the family. Training and quality family time, daily exercise, veterinary care, food, shelter, toys all add up to a big commitment.
Be sure to consider the lifestyle of the person before giving an animal.
Be sure to consider the financial resources of the person before giving an animal.
Be sure to consider the living arrangements and/or rental agreements of the person before giving an animal. Not everyone has the space or the ability to keep an animal comfortably.
Be sure to consider the temperament and exercise needs of the animal before giving a person.
If you believe you know someone that can and will provide all of these things for the lifetime of the animal, then by all means, adopt an animal from a shelter and make two lives merrier.
If you decide to give an animal as a gift, an easy way to make their day is to wrap up a picture of the animal and include some items that your lucky recipient will need: food, feeding bowls, toys, etc. Make arrangements to pick up the new pet after the holiday rush if possible, as it will be easier on everyone, especially the pet.
Above all else: remember not everyone is prepared for the commitment. Many “Christmas gift animals” are returned to the shelter, or even worse, abandoned. If you don’t plan on giving an animal as a gift, you can still give a gift to help animals by donating food, toys, litter and blankets to your local shelter.