This holiday season, gift giving is at the forefront of everyone’s minds and many people turn to gifting animals to loved ones. Is that a good idea though? There are many serious responsibilities that come with owning an animal that need to be considered when deciding whether or not it would be a good idea to gift a pet to someone.
We recommend that animals should only be given as gifts to people who have expressed a sustained interest in owning one, and who possess the ability to care for it responsibly. We have to remember that animals are living creatures, just like you and the rest of your family, and their needs must be taken into account.
If you do decide to give an animal as a gift this holiday season, the most important thing you can do when choosing an animal to adopt is to think of the recipient’s lifestyle. While you think your grandparents may benefit from a four legged companion, you want to keep their needs and wants at the forefront of your decision. An elderly person may not do as well with a rambunctious puppy or curious kitten, but an older dog or cat that enjoys being a couch potato may be the perfect addition to their household. This works for younger recipients as well. While an older animal may not have the patience to live in a household with a 6-year-old child full of energy, a young puppy or kitten may be a better match and help to teach them responsibility.
When deciding if your child is ready for a pet, take note of their daily habits and behaviors.
Do they require constant reminders, or are they old enough to remember certain tasks on their own? Are they able to take care of their personal hygiene without assistance or reminding?
If they need your constant supervision for daily tasks, then you will need to keep a close eye on the new chores involved in keeping a pet and be prepared for the reality that they may all need to be completed by you.
Limit the responsibilities handed to children and base it off of what they can handle at their age.
Be ready to monitor the tasks you give them and check in with them daily to make sure the animal is being well cared for and not neglected.
In short, it’s just fine if a cat or a dog is part of your thoughtful gift-giving during the upcoming holidays. After all, being homeless and then adopted into a new, loving home fits with the spirit of the season better than just about any other gift. And now is the perfect time to come in if you have decided to adopt an animal because we are currently running a special adoption event called Home for the Holidays where all animals over the age of 6 months are only $25! Puppies under 6 months of age are still $210 and kittens under the age of 6 months are still $100.