We all know how important the mantra “Adopt, Don't Shop” is. Countless animals are in shelters, or in the street, and each of them deserve a loving forever home. This time of year, many shelters waive adoption fees, making it a great time to adopt. However, for those thinking of giving a pet as a gift, remember the numerous pitfalls that can lead to problems for the animals you are trying to save. Make sure you're making the right decision for the family, and especially the animals!
The first thing to do is make sure that the person (or people) you want to adopt for know what's coming! Surprising someone who isn't prepared can be a huge detriment to the animal. Pets are a huge responsibility, and they will have their new companion for years to come.
There are upfront costs (food, toys, possible vet bills), as well as long term (major illnesses, food, regular check ups). If the potential recipient isn't prepared or willing to put the time and money in, then it is absolutely a bad decision.
Pets can't be gift wrapped and placed under a tree, despite what commercials and holiday movies might have us believe. If you are giving the gift of a furbaby, make sure you present it in a the form of a card, or something creative and fun to propose the gift. Take them to the shelter! Make sure they can find the pet that meets their needs. Adopting an animal is intensely personal, so it is vital to let the recipient pick out the animal.
There is a good chance you're looking at pets to add to your family. Getting a pet for children is a time honored tradition, but it has several important stipulations if you want it to be successful.
Despite the pet being for your kids, the ultimate responsibility rests on YOU. They won't be able to drive it to the vets, or pay for the vet bills. They may not have the patience required for proper training. If you aren't ready to pick up the slack, then getting them a pet as a present is a terrible idea. You can see an example of a much better presentation if you need ideas!
If you do help a shelter animal find a new home, make sure the recipient is prepared. Besides toys and a leash, new pet owners will absolutely need things we often overlook. When taking the dog for a walk, it is essential to have bags for clean up (most areas will fine those who don't clean up after there dog after all), stain remover (there will always be accidents), and tags (you can pre-buy them and give them the voucher).
Pets can be the most incredible addition to a family, and helping shelter animals get adopted is not only a gift for you, but for the animal as well. Just make sure that you make the best decision for the animal and the family.
Happy Holiday's everyone!
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