Christmas is coming up and your kid is desperate for a puppy. The thought of seeing the look on your kid’s face when they wake up Christmas morning to a happy ball of fur is enough to make you seriously consider it, but should you really? Getting pets for Christmas is universally considered to be a bad decision however, like most things, this isn’t always the case. Keep reading to see where your family fits in this decision!
Pets For Christmas, Yes or No?
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When it comes to adding an animal to your family there are quite a few things to keep in mind. Generally speaking, most people state that it’s not a good idea to give a pet for Christmas. It’s a fact that shelters and humane societies see a large rise in surrenders during the months following Christmas and a part of this is due to people dumping unwanted surprise gifts. It can also be the result of people underestimating the amount of care a particular animal can take.
However, there are certain circumstances were giving a pet as a Christmas present may not be a bad idea. For instance, my daughter is receiving a 20-gallon Aquarium for Christmas this year. he has previously managed a betta fish in a smaller tank very successfully and has shown a great deal of interest in branching out to other fish. More importantly, however, is that I’m fully willing to take on the responsibility of making sure the tank is cleaned and the fish are fed and taken care of properly. Zoe will be expected to help of course, but she won’t be expected to be the sole caretaker. Since I know that she is interested, she’s proven to be responsible for this type of pet already and I’m willing to help out – the fish tank is a good gift idea!
Read below for some quick points to keep in mind before you hit the pet store, breeder or adoption event!
When Gifting a Pet is a Good Idea
- Gifting a pet can be a good idea if your family is fully willing to take on the responsibility of care for this new animal. If you are gifting a pet to a child in your family then you should also make sure that the child (and you) are ready for the pet you are picking out!
- When you have a friend or family member that has been preparing for the specific pet for a very long time, has all the supplies and is just trying to save up for the animal itself then donating a bit towards that purchase can also be a great idea!
- If your family has been talking about getting a pet and everyone is fully on board with the purchase or adoption then Christmas can be a great time to add to your family.
When Gifting a Pet is a Terrible Idea
- If you are buying a pet for a child and expecting them to take full responsibility for the animal with no help then you should rethink your plans. Kids can have the best of intentions and some are very responsible and capable but when it comes to a living creature there should always be an adult willing to take responsibility if needed.
- If you plan on surprising a friend or family member with a pet because you think it will be ‘good for them’ but they have absolutely no idea of the responsibility you are about to spring on them then you should rethink your plan.
- Should you have any reservations about the person’s ability to take care of the animal for a lengthy period of time then a pet is not a good idea.
- If some members of the family are on the fence or unsure about adding a pet then you either need to talk some more or put plans on hold.
- If the family has other pets and your not sure about the reaction they might have to a newcomer then you should probably spend some time attempting to introduce them slowly and properly but definitely should not surprise them on Christmas morning.