Are pets the right fit as a Christmas gift? Pets in for long haul beyond Christmas

by Jackie Edwards

A new pet might be one of the most exciting gifts to give someone at Christmastime. We tend to see a rise in demand of puppies and kittens leading up to Christmas, culminating in the happy reveal to the recipient. A recent survey completed by the ASPCA shows that approximately 86% of pets given as gifts are still in the home, so you need to keep in mind the how much of a time, money and energy commitment they can be. It’s also estimated that more than one-in-five puppies or kittens given as Christmas presents will ultimately be surrendered to shelters.

Do You Want a Pet?

There are several things which need to be taken into consideration and addressed, the most important one being the person receiving the pet expressing previous interest in wanting a pet. Another factor to consider is the ability of the person, or family, receiving the pet to take care of it in a responsible manner. Pets are long-term commitments, with lifespans for dogs being up to 10 or more years, and cat can live up to 15 years or more. Other animals have varying life spans, so know in advanced the commitment your family will need and factor it into your decision.

Procuring a Pet

There’s so much information about purchasing from a breeder versus rescuing a pet, it can boggle the mind. There’s also the issue with the age of the pets, pitting kittens and puppies against older or even senior pets. The best way to wade through the discussion is to consider what you want from your pet, whether it’s simply a companion at home to one which will hike a mountain with you. Puppies and kittens will require training of some type to get them house trained, get them socialized with other animals, and will require an eye kept on them to avoid trouble. You must determine which pet will suit your family best.

Be Prepared

Love is a wonderful thing in life to receive and to give. Owning a pet can change your life in so many ways if given the chance. The unconditional love you receive from a pet can make even the worst day better. As caretaker of a pet, you are endowed with the job of taking care of another life. It’s like having another child in the house, or a child you never expected to have, but love none the less. You will need to be prepared to live with the good times and the bad, accidents and victories, and the cost of taking care of a pet. Great food, pet supplies, toys, some clothes, a pet subscription box, and trips to the vet can add up for a family, so it would be wise to add it to the list of things to consider.

A pet is not just for Christmas, you are getting a ball of fur to love and cherish for as long as possible. Being prepared for what will come with owning a pet, will ensure you and the pet will be happy and enjoy life together. Don’t let your family, or your new four-legged friend, down by not taking this commitment to heart and be all-in for the long haul.


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