As the holiday season is upon us, we wanted to touch on a commonly asked question, “Should I get (insert name of friend of family member here) a pet as a gift this year?

The short answer is; NO. However that would make for the world’s shortest article, so we are going to dive into some details on the commitment becoming a pet owner truly becomes.

A pet is not a gift. A pet becomes a member of your family, and they are a long term commitment. Pets have ongoing costs throughout their lifetime as they need food, bedding, toys, grooming  and veterinary care. In addition they require a large investment of time for exercise, training and more.

While some animals can adjust to a new home rather quickly, others take weeks sometimes months or longer to settle in. Adopting a pet means that you are dedicating however much time the animal needs to feel safe and settled in your home.

The unfortunate reality of giving a pet as a gift is that they often end up back in shelters. When the ribbons and bows go away, and the responsibility sets in, people often decide they are not ready for the commitment this gift presented them with. And the animal ends up back in the shelter.

So, were you considering gifting a pet this holiday season? Your intentions are good, and we have some alternatives that will lead to much more paw-sitive outcomes.
  •   Consider making a donation in your loved one’s name. This way you are helping animals in need, and giving the ‘feel good’ energy you were aiming for. You can make a donation to our organization HERE
  • Consider giving your loved one some literature on the pet they are interested in. Help them understand the commitment, and promise to accompany them to local shelters until they find the perfect fit.
  •  Consider opting to volunteer with your loved one in the New Year. Oftentimes working alongside the animals can still bring those positive joyful feelings, but it can also help show what a commitment an animal can be.