Owning a pet is a great responsibility for the whole family, even more so than having a baby. This is because eventually babies grow up to become teenagers, then adults who don’t need constant supervision throughout life. Giving pets as Christmas gifts may seem like a good idea at the time; all you can think of is how the kids will enjoy having a little fur ball to play with. Christmas is the season of love and giving, and puppies and kittens are so adorable but do they make good Christmas gifts?
Gifting a Pet to Your Own Family
Before deciding on gifting a pet for Christmas, discuss it with your family first. Find out if the kids want a dog or cat and if they are ready to be responsible for it. Make it clear that a pet is a living thing that has needs to be taken care of. Raising an animal can be high maintenance and you must consider the financial obligations involved like feeding, training, grooming, medical bills, toys, and some other accessories like bedding, collars, restraints, etc.
Another thing to consider is whether someone in the family is allergic to pets. Allergic reactions like itching, sneezing, watery eyes and stuffy nose is as a result of animal hair or dander (small scales from animal skin). This is a common problem and should not be overlooked because it can also make other health conditions like asthma become worse.
When considering the idea of getting a pet as a Christmas gift, think about adoption. This is because pet adoption agencies care for the pets in their possession. They try to make sure you understand what you are getting into by bringing an animal home, what your responsibilities are as a pet owner, and other implications. They are concerned about the welfare of the animals because they have seen how poorly these animals are treated and want to avoid a repeat situation. You can find information online with pictures and descriptions of pets available for adoption in your local area.
If you are not satisfied with adopting, you can always visit a pet store and buy a puppy or kitten or any other pet of your choice. Always make sure to get some history about the pet you choose before the purchase.
Gifting a Pet to a Loved One
One should also consider the above information if you are thinking of giving a pet to a loved one. Think of the person’s lifestyle; are they always on the road, do they work long hours, do they have roommates or are they living with family, are they patient, loving and caring, and most of all, does the person want a pet? From there you can determine what type of pet you can get them, if any at all.
Matching a pet to a person can save a lot of distress in future. If, for instance, the person likes jogging, getting a golden retriever or German shepherd will make a good match. If the person has a happy energized personality, then a Jack Russell Terrier might be suitable.
In the event that your adorable Christmas pet is no longer wanted, instead of abandoning it, it is best to return it to the animal shelter or better, find a loving home for it.