Not sure why I get or read these Dr. Jon newsletters, but sometimes they present information in a simple way that really makes sense. I am sure we all agree with this, but might be something nice to have on hand should we hear of someone contemplating a pet as a gift.
The holidays can be the best of times to welcome a new pet into your home. Or they can be the worst of times. While the emotions and warmth of the season can inspire you to share your home with an animal, the distractions can also make this a terrible time to bring home a furry friend.
Although it may seem like a pet would cheer someone up who is down during the holiday season, you must make certain that this person is ready for a pet. And just because you want a dog this season doesn't mean that the holidays are the right time to introduce a new member of the family to your home.
We (some of our petplace authors and I) have put together some guidelines to keep in mind when thinking about acquiring a pet over the holidays.
First, never recommend giving and unexpected living gift. Your intensions may be good but I've seen more disasters than I care to tell. People sometimes make the mistake of providing a pet to ease the loneliness of a friend, but all too often these animals wind up in a shelter by New Year's. Here are a few reasons pets never make good surprises.
* You can't be sure that the recipient wants to take on the responsibility of a pet, including providing medical care for the next 10 to 20 years.
* A person should be able to choose his or her own pet companion.
* Never give a cat or a dog to replace one that just died. Some people need time to mourn their loss before they can welcome a new animal into their lives.
Also, the holidays are a busy time. Pets need love, care, and a routine. Sometimes after the holidays is a much better time to give or get a pet.
If you are still thinking you want to give a pet... how about Giving the Promise of a Pet Instead. Instead of bringing a surprise pet home, you can put presents under the tree - a bowl, a collar, a microchip gift certificate or a book about dogs. Enclose an I.O.U. or card that promises to take family members to a breeder or shelter after the holidays so they can choose the pet of their dreams.
Until next time...
P.S. - Another gift idea for new pets or previous pet owners is the gift of safety. Consider giving a friend a personalized pet tag, collar, leash or microchip. It can save a pets life!
P.P.S. I've gotten a lot of emails from users about their arthritic dogs. Tomorrow, I'll give you some tips on things you can do to make them more comfortable.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
Yes, yes, yes! I couldn't agree more. When Thor died, my mom said a friend of hers found a stray dog and she was going to go get him and bring him to my house. I told her I didn't want a dog (I was still mourning). She said "well the kids need a dog." I said "well since I'm the one responsible for it, I don't want it." She tried to break all 3 rules mentioned above.Originally Posted by Endofile
Personally, I would never purchase a pet as a gift for someone else. Pets are a very personal thing. I love all animals but I definitely have clicked with some but not with others. Pets are a lifetime commitment in my family and I wouldn't want to be committed to an animal I didn't feel connect with. It wouldn't be fair to either of us.
Couldn't agree more...IMHO, with few exceptions, the holidays are not a good time to bring home a pet...whether you want and are able to care for it or not. Better to wait until after the holidays when things are calmer.
ALso, giving a pet as a surprise gift has some other pitfalls. First, as the article pointed out, the animal will probably wind up in a shelter and that is not good for it or the person giving it up. They probably feel bad about having to do that. Avoid putting them in that position.
Because of the above, it could strain your relationship with them. Most of us would not want that to occur witha family member or friend. No point in risking it.
Just a bad situation for everybody involved.
What is sad is my local mall pet store always overstocks their shop during this time of the year trying to push the cute puppy as a present.
Too often this time a year I see lab puppies and others in small cages not running and playing and getting belly rubs like they should. All I can do is shake my head in disgust and leave the store. I know most of them come from puppy mills but itís not the puppies fault. I wonder how many "Christmas Puppies" wind up at a shelter with in 6 months.
I agree that if someone is to give an animal for Christmas first be sure that it is wanted or if itís for your child that you as the parent are willing to take over after the initial newness wares off the child.
I like the idea of giving bowls, crates collars and other related stuff then after the hoo haa of the holiday take the family to a breeder or rescue and chose a companion as a family. I donít look as a dog as a pet but as a family companion.
Just my 2 cents
I think this is related...my girlfriend and I will be looking to adopt sometime soon after the holidays cause we know so many people will be getting dogs for presents and we know a lot will end up in shelters.
I couldn't agree on this more.
See my post " A Sad Christmas Poem".
Sorry to hijack but these 2 topics DO go
hand in hand , sadly enough.
I think the only way I would except a pet as a gift would be if I was able to pick it out, like going to the shelter and it was a few days before or a few days after Christmas. I know a few lab breeders who had litters of pups ready this month, they are rb and won't let them go I guess to the last week of this month or the first week of Jan.