This is a popular time of year for animals purchases and adoptions. While I don’t want to discourage animal adoptions, I feel anyone considering giving an animal as a gift this holiday should evaluate the situation before proceeding further. Sadly, many animals given as gifts end up in shelters at the start of the new year. Here are some things to consider:
- Does the recipient want an animal? While a new puppy sounds like a nice surprise, it isn’t fair to either the animal or the person to expect someone who did not ask for a new dog to be prepared to take care of it.
- Is the recipient prepared for the responsibility? Kids are notorious for asking for a new cat or dog for Christmas, but are they prepared to take on the responsibility of a pet? If not, are you THE PARENT ready to take on the responsibility of a new animal?
- Does the recipient have enough time, money, and energy to care for this pet? Regardless of whether a person wants and feels they are ready for an animal, do you truly think the person’s lifestyle will allow for this animal?
- Is this the right animal for the recipient? Selecting a new animal should not be done on impulse. Often, it takes quite a bit of time to find the right animal for a certain person, household, or family. Plus, many people would probably prefer to select their own pet based on certain criteria.
Remember, many animals such as dogs or cats are going to be around for 13 or more years! They are not like toys that kids can just tire of and throw in the back of their closets. Even smaller animals such as gheckos, lizards, and birds can be around for a long time. Also, many animals require special habitats and accessories that you will have to buy, such as heat lamps, special food, etc. Even most fish cannot be put in a simply glass bowl! So please think long and hard about giving an animal as a gift this Christmas. If you have considered these things and have decided to give an animal this Christmas, please consider adopting. There are millions of animals in shelters that would love a home for Christmas (not just dogs & cats, but lizards, birds, rabbits, and more!)