Giving Pets as Gifts
Like any other major decisions in life, adding a new companion to a family should be a well-informed commitment.
Below are some factors you might want to consider when bringing home an animal this holiday season.
You might be the best uncle in the world or the grandma that knows best, but let's face it, a dog that's given to a 9-year-old will most likely be the responsibility of the parents more than the child. It is best to let the adults in the household know about the new pet’s arrival beforehand. Another concern is the physical and emotional ability of the new pet parent to care for the animals. If they have recently lost their companion, make sure they are ready to welcome a new one into their lives. If the recipient and his/her household have a busy schedule make sure that they will be able to make adjustments to their schedule to cater to the new addition to the family.
We all know that there is no such thing as an aggressive dog breed, but the temperament of an animal can be a big factor on whether the new pet will fit into their new home. In 1997, when Disney released the movie 101 Dalmatians, shelters across the country saw a sudden surge in Dalmatian puppies being surrendered to the shelter all because people found the breed more willful and highly energetic than they had anticipated. When getting a dog or a cat as a present, make sure that the pet's amount of energy and personality will match the lifestyle and the attitude of the whole household. Ensure that the pet parents are ready to accept that this change will be a learning experience for everyone.
If there is another animal at home, and you want to make room for one more, please bear in mind that this will change the hierarchy in the house. It may take time for things to settle down - the pet parents have to be very patient.
We all know the holidays can get a little hectic. There are decorations in the house and people coming and going to the pet’s new house. This might be a little too overwhelming not only for the animal but for the new pet parents as well. Also, consider the family’s plans in the near future. Are they about to move away? Is there a major life event that's about to happen like the birth of a new baby or a major surgery that may render the new pet owner unable to cater to the needs of his/her new pet.
Raising a pet can be an additional cost to a family’s household. The food, toys, and vaccines are just a part of it. Certain breeds may be prone to conditions that might need special care. Make sure that adding another member to the family will be a source of joy and not an added stress.
These are just a few things to consider before welcoming a new member to your household. We hope this information will help avoid the unfortunate circumstance of an animal being surrendered to the shelter after the holiday season.
And when you have made your decision, please adopt don’t shop. There are so many animals at your local shelter eager to share their life with a loving home.