Happy holidays furiends! The excitement continues to build in our house this week! We hear Santa is on his way to us with gifts and treats :)
My brother Chio has turned out to be the best pal I could have wished for. He’s my playmate and snuggle buddy all rolled into one. Many people might be thinking of giving a puppy like Chio as a gift this year. Before you do, read my thoughts on why you should not give pets as Christmas gifts.
It’s seems like the perfect gift. You are picturing a cute little puppy under the tree and your loved ones face lighting up with joy. I know you mean well, but giving a pet to someone for Christmas can often end in tragedy. Pets are forever, not just for the holidays. Getting a pet is a huge responsibility and it’s something that a person must commit to themselves. Although you are buying the pet, you are actually forcing upon them a 10 - 20 year commitment of time, money and energy.
If the pet is for your own household, why not wait until the end of January or early February? The chances are, a lot of pets purchased for Christmas will end up in the shelters by then and need a loving furever home.
Here are my top three reasons not to introduce a pet to your home at Christmas:
- The holiday season is busy enough without adding to your responsibilities. A new puppy or kitten will need to be trained, settled into the home, introduced to any children or other pets. Check out my blog on introducing a new puppy to the home. This is not ideal when you are running around trying to prepare dinner, visit family and keep on top of the chores. This time of year is also full of dangers to a new pet as I discussed in my blog last week. Read Safeguarding your Pet this Holiday Season. It’s best to wait for a less busy time of year, when everyone will have the time to give the new member of the family the attention they deserve.
- Children get toys for Christmas - and get bored of the toys by January. Introducing a pet at this time of year can give the impression that it’s just another toy to discard when they get bored of it. A new pet is a huge responsibility and children need to be made aware of this outside of the excitement of Christmas.
- Puppy Mills and disreputable breeders love this time of year. As demand is so high for new pets, pet stores may use these breeders to make sure they have all the latest trendy breeds in store. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how bad puppy mills are. Puppies are born into inhumane and dirty conditions. They are likely to be sick and suffer with abnormalities.
So what can you do instead? Sponsor an animal charity on behalf of the person you are gifting. Any pet lover would appreciate this. Here’s one we found for Southeastern Guide Dogs. They’ll even send you a photo and certificate that you can present to your loved one.
If the pet is for a child within your own home, try giving them something that they need to take care of, with the promise of a pet if they do it well. Foopets are virtual online pets that need food, love, attention and care just like a real pet. They are a great warm-up pet for young children.
That’s in from me this week. If you have any pictures of your pets that you’d like to share, please visit me on Facebook at Charger the Guide Dog. Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already. If you found this article useful, give it a paws up and share with your friends.