The holidays can be a stressful time for both people and animals alike. If you’re considering giving or getting pets as Christmas gifts for your children or friends, there are several things that you should consider before making the choice to give or get a dog or cat.
Can your family or friends afford the cost of a pet? Costs include:
- Vet expenses for annual exams, shots, health issues, and emergencies
- Grooming expenses for services or tools to do it yourself
- Costs for dog toys that will have to be replaced regularly as the pet chews through them
- costs for toys to keep your cat entertained
- furniture/carpet repairs/cleaning or replacement if the pet soils them
- Food costs
Be sure to discuss these things with your family or friends if your intent is to give a pet as a gift.
Do your friends/family have the time and energy?
Getting a pet requires time to care for it, and time to play with it. Dogs require constant training and exercise. Some cats demand attention, while others are independent. But all animals can be destructive if they get bored. If you are giving pets as Christmas gifts, this is something you need to consider. Would your intended receipient appreciate a pet? You should discuss this with the person who will be receiving the pet.
A Word About Adoption
When you adopt a pet from a shelter, you need to be willing to take it as it is and work with it to help it recover. The shelter is a difficult place for an animal to be. It’s loud, scary, and overwhelming. So a dog or cat may not be displaying its true temprament, and there are some animals that may actually end up being truly aggressive. But the majority of animals that have been at a shelter are under a lot of stress, and may have developed behavior issues while there. Training can correct those behavior issues. If your family or friends are not willing to commit to a lifestyle of care, training, and exercise, then you might want to re-think giving or getting a pet.
*Contact the Jackson County Animal Protection Society or your local animal shelter for more information about adoptable pets.