Pets as Gifts: Why You Should Stick to Stuffed Animals
Not sure what to get someone for Christmas? Tired of hearing your kid begging for a puppy? Whatever the reason may be, many people go out and buy a pet as a gift around Christmas time. Animals should never be given as gifts, and here are a few reasons why.
1. Pets Shouldn’t Be an Impulsive Buy
Bringing a pet into your home requires an abundance of thought and planning. A pet should never be a surprise for this exact reason. Someone may want a pet but not be prepared to care for it. Time, financing, and many other aspects need to be considered when getting a pet. Finding a cat or dog under the tree Christmas morning does not allow this.
2. Sadly, They Often Go Right Back Where They Came From
Because there is no time to prepare for the pet, many of the dogs or cats that are adopted around Christmas for the purpose of being a gift end up right back at the shelter or rescue where they came from. In the article Pets as a Present, author Karen Peak urges you to check in with a shelter a few months after the holiday. “Ask the staff how many animals were former gifts that were no longer wanted. You may be amazed at how many former gifts find themselves unwanted within the weeks or months after they were so ‘lovingly’ given.”
3. Isn’t the Holiday Season Hectic Enough?
With relatives flying in, meals to prepare, gifts to purchase, snow to shovel, and cookies to bake, isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t there already enough going on for the holiday season? Adding a new pet to the mix can lead to disaster. Animals being welcomed into a new home need a lot of training, love, and attention. Most people wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have time to do this during Christmas.
4. Pets Are Not Toys!
If you’re getting the pet for a child on Christmas, slapping a bow on the pet can give the impression that the animal is just one in a bunch of toys and presents. In the article “Why You Should NOT Give a New Pet as a Christmas Gift”, Dr. Becker writes, “A living creature shouldn’t be considered the same kind of ‘wow’ Christmas gift as, say, a new bike or the latest Xbox console. Caring for a dog or cat is a big responsibility and far different from getting a new toy that is taken out, played with, and put away again. It’s important to impress upon a child the difference between her belongings and her pet, from the very first minute a new dog or cat enters her life.”
For all of these reasons, it’s a far better choice to stick with a stuffed animal rather than a live one this holiday season.