Why Pets Shouldn’t Be Under The Tree This Holiday Season

Each and every year, many little boys and girls sit on Santa’s knee to make their Christmas requests. Ask any Santa out there and he Christmas Dogwill tell you that many children are dying to have a furry best friend to call their own. Often it is a dog, a cat, or even a pony that children hope will greet them on Christmas morning.┬áBut, as a rule, you should never give a pet as a present for any occasion. Below we have included many of the reasons why animal adoption decisions should be left to the family the animal would be living with.

Why Don’t Animals Make Good Gifts?

  • Personalities must mesh – adding an animal to your household is like introducing a new family member. They will live in that household, interact with humans of all sizes, and find playmates in other family pets. Of course, adopting a dog or cat is not on the same level as introducing an adopted child into your world, but it is still a big decision. As a grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or friend, you wouldn’t go out select and adopt a baby without bringing the prospective new parents out with you to make the decision. So why would you think it is appropriate with an animal? It is still important that all members of the household connect and feel comfortable with the pet. A good match better guarantees a forever home.
  • Having an animal is a big responsibility – regardless of the type of animal you are hoping to give as a gift, there is responsibility involved. And you, as the gift giver, would not play any role in that process, so is it fair to stick that on someone else without their input? On a daily basis, any pet needs to be fed, walked/let outside, have its litter box cleaned, or exercised/played with in another way. Plus, having additional animals in the house does create more mess, which translates to an increase in general housework. Even a few more minutes of chores per day adds up, especially for those with children and/or jobs outside the home. Having pets can demand a big lifestyle change, and only pet owners are in a position to choose to sacrifice. On top of that, animals cost money. Day-to-day the costs of food and basic care are relatively low, but those costs can sky rocket if more extensive vet care is needed. Pet owners need to be comfortable enough to deal with large, unexpected costs if needed. Let’s be realistic, only members of the immediate household will be aware of a family’s financial situation and their ability to take on additional costs.
  • Breed preferences – with so many animals to choose from, it is important to remember that every individual has their own preferences when it comes to animal breeds. Size, colour, temperament, impact on allergies, genetic history, and much more are all things to be considered when choosing a pet. It is hard enough for every member of a household to agree on something to suit them all in most cases. As a gift giver from outside of the home, remember that your preferences are not necessarily the same as theirs.
  • Long-term family goals – a family that adopts a kitten could have that animal for up to approximately 20 years, while a puppy may be around for just shy of that. Just because you’ve heard a loved one coo over an adorable, fluffy creature today, doesn’t mean that animal will fit into their life plans a couple of years down the road.

While certainly finding a pet on Christmas morning will make just about any child’s eyes light up (especially if it is a Santa wish come true), it is not fair to the new owners or the animal. If the pet is unwanted, it is increasingly likely that it will fail to have all its needs met, and could even be at risk if it ends up back at an animal shelter.

If you feel strongly about getting a pet for a loved one, let the family make the decision IF they are prepared to get an animal, and you can foot the bill. Or, give back to the animal community by donating your time or supplies to local animal shelters, and bring the animal lovers in your life along for the journey!

Giving Back To Animals This Christmas In Nova Scotia

Looking for an animal shelter to give back to this holiday season? Here are a few options, but please stay tuned for more details on this in a future article as well.

  1. Maritime Animal Rescue
  2. Provincial Animal Shelter
  3. Nova Scotia SPCA

(image credit)

No reviews yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.