If there is one gift that can bring about squeals of delight more than any other, it’s the gift of a puppy or a little kitten. If you think that they make the perfect Christmas gift, you may want to think a little more before you give one to a friend or family member. A child may beg for a pet at Christmas, but there are a number of reasons why it may be a bad idea.
We all want to give a gift that puts a smile on somebody’s face, and when it comes to giving a pet, there is no doubt that a child will smile from ear to ear. That being said, there is no doubt that having a new pet in the family is a lot of work and when you add that stress in with the already stressful holiday time, it can make things difficult for you, your family and for the new addition. It is also a good idea to consider the lifespan of an animal, which is generally well over a decade. Animals are a long-term commitment and if you are giving the pet to somebody who may not be ready for that commitment, another gift may be in order.
Many people who give pets as a gift tend to view them as just something to play with. If you have ever had an animal in your life, however, you realize that it is a commitment of time. Having a new puppy means that you will have to train them properly and for a kitten, it may be added stress when they start sharpening their claws on the living room sofa. If you don’t care for the animal properly, it can lead to behavioral problems and even bigger issues. This could result in the animal being given to a shelter or perhaps even being euthanized because they are experiencing ‘behavioral problems’.
Although giving a pet as a gift on a whim may be a bad decision, there are times when it is a good decision to give such a gift.
The following tips can help you decide if you should give the gift of a new cat or dog.
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1. Ask in advance – a pet should never be a surprise gift. If you know that they are considering a pet, make sure that you know exactly what they want before you make the purchase. Giving a pet as a surprise is neither kind to the pet or to the recipient of the gift.
2. Only give pets to immediate family – it may seem like a great idea to give that little kitten a new home with a friend’s child but even if they want one, you might want to rethink that option.
3. Can they care for the pet? – Before you go out and buy somebody a pet, you need to make sure that the pet will be cared for properly. Elderly parents may not be able to keep up with the new puppy and giving your wife a pet may make them smile but do they really have time to care for it?
4. Don’t be impulsive – it is important not to buy a pet on a whim and give it to someone as a gift. Everybody should be in on the decision.
5. Wait until after the holidays – you don’t have to give a pet as a gift at Christmas, just wait until January or February. Sit down with the family, look at the positive and negative and then head down to the shelter to adopt a cat or dog.
Bad decisions are often made without any forethought. This could be the case if you buy a pet as a Christmas gift without giving it any thought in advance. Unfortunately, many pets are given as gifts at Christmas and up at the shelter. Unfortunately, they may never make it into a new home. Consider the decision carefully so you make the proper choice.
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