Puppies and kittens are adorable! I know, I was once one myself and only got more good-looking as I got older. They just don't stay that way for long and quickly grow into adult pets who need daily care for many years. Please think about this before you give a puppy or kitten to someone you love as a holiday gift. I thank you on behalf of pets everywhere who just want a fur-ever home.
It's December, which means the chances are good that you have already watched a few holiday movies that end with one of the leading characters receiving an adorable puppy or kitten as a gift. He or she squeals with delight and the family adjusts immediately to having a new pet. Unfortunately, this is more the exception than the rule in real life. It’s just that you don’t see characters in a movie surrendering a pet once they realize the responsibility involved in caring for him for the remainder of his life.
Children and older people living alone tend to be the biggest recipients of pets as Christmas or Hanukkah gifts. You could really be inviting trouble if you give a pet to a child who isn’t yours without checking with his or her parents first. You might want to be the cool aunt, uncle, or grandparent when giving such a gift. However, the parents are likely to feel resentful at the responsibility that they will likely take on because their child isn’t ready for a pet. Older people may not have the budget for veterinary expenses or ability to keep up with an energetic animal.
You Can Still Give Someone a Pet without the Surprise
Some people on your gift list may be ready for the responsibility of a new dog or cat and would feel touched that you thought to get one for them. However, you should allow the gift recipient to pick his or her own new pet and you can pay the adoption fee
or offer to cover the first check-up at Buffalo Companion Animal Hospital. Before you even broach this subject with the person who would take in the new pet, consider these questions:
- Does anyone in the home have pet allergies?
- If the person lives in rental housing, does his or her lease allow for pets?
- How much do you know about this person’s lifestyle? For example, does he or she travel often or work long hours? Is there already a pet in the home? The answers to these types of questions determines how much time and energy the person will have to devote to a new pet.
If you have offered to pay the adoption fee, consider bringing your friend or family member to an animal shelter to choose a new pet. The animals living there have been neutered or spayed, are up-to-date on vaccinations, and have undergone a recent veterinary check-up
. Best of all, both of you would be giving a deserving pet a second chance at finding a forever family.
We wish you a happy holiday season!
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