Our Vice-President Breanna and Lucy have an important message to share with you this holiday season on why gifting pets at Christmas is a bad idea.
1. ALL THE CHRISTMAS CHEER!
The holidays are a busy time of year. We are often coming and going, more often than usual, from our homes to festive celebrations, shopping etc. When bringing a new pet into your home it is important for them to have your attention so that you and your new family member can create a trustworthy bond. This can be a very stressful time for pets, and an extra busy household that is full of excitement can make the transition process very difficult. If you are adopting a young animal the training required can be very time consuming and some animals require lots of exercise. Training should start immediately, not after the holidays are over. Most of us don’t have a spare moment during the holiday season, making if very difficult to find the time to train. The best way to alleviate the stress and fear a pet may have coming into your home is be home as often as you can, keep a consistent schedule and maintain a calm environment.
2. SANTA PAWS DOES NOT EXIST.
Gifting someone a pet for a present is just a bad idea. Choosing the right pet is a very personal decision and not one to be made by someone other than the new adoptive parent/family. Picking the right pet personality to suit you/your families is something for you and only you to do. Pets are not products, they are living creatures, like us, and they should NEVER be sold in a retail setting and purchased as presents. Even if adopting from a local shelter or rescue, gifting a pet gives the wrong impression, especially to children, that this new pet is a toy. You want your children to understand the responsibilities of caring for an animal and for your new pet to not end up being ignored after the novelty wears off.
Hold off bringing a pet home from a shelter and head on down to your best friend’s chocolatier and by them a box instead! Or give them a gift certificate for a pet adoption after the holidays are over.
3. FILL MY STOCKING WITH A DUPLEX AND CHEQUES……..
Deciding to expand your family to include a pet is also committing to taking on the financial responsibility that comes along with them, much of which is unforeseen. This may not be fully thought through if you decide on a whim to adopt during the holidays as you are swept up in the magical time of year and decide to help a pet in need and bring home an animal from your local shelter. Purchasing or adopting an animal is a costly decision, from food, litter, regular and emergency veterinary care (like when your Pitbull Lucy gets pneumonia from eating goose poop!). And let’s not forget the pets who will require walkers, daycare and will need somewhere like a boarding kennel or pet sitter when you take your annual vacation or frequent business trips. Please fully consider all of the responsibilities that go along with having a pet any time of the year.
Giving an animal the gift of a forever home is a wonderful gift, but if you celebrate the holidays, the best thing you can do is wait until your festivities are over. If you are having a hard time waiting and feel like you want to give to animals this holiday season, consider making a donation/volunteering at the animal charity of your choice or the shelter you anticipate meeting your new pet at in 2018. As a board member for Paws for Hope Animal Foundation, I can personally attest to the personal rewards volunteering brings.
Happy Howlidays to you all, I wish you and yours the very best this season!
Paws for Hope Animal Foundation
PS: Of course, if you would like to help animals most in need during the holidays, you can do so by donating to us!