Think Twice before Giving Pets as Holiday Gifts

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Think Twice before Giving Pets as Holiday Gifts


Byline: Metro Editorial Services

Many people consider pets great holiday gifts. But in spite of their popularity as presents, pets do not always make the most appropriate holiday gift.

Giving a pet as a present seems like a great idea, but shoppers might want to give it more consideration before giving a gift that is such a considerable responsibility. A puppy at Christmas or a bunny at Easter may be given with good intentions, but that well-meaning sentiment can easily backfire, ending with the pet being given up for adoption when recipients dont feel up to the task of raising a pet. In such instances, the companion animal pays the steepest price.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, most puppies and kittens born in the United States never reach their second birthdays. They die from being hit by cars, are euthanized by their owners, succumb to starvation, or suffer fatal injuries in fights with other animals.

Though it often is, buying a pet should not be an impulse purchase. You see sad eyes looking back at you from behind a cage door and want to give that animal a new home. However, introducing an animal into a family is not a decision to take lightly. You must factor how well the pet will fit in with the family dynamic. Do schedules allow for quality time spent with the animal? Is it a financially good time to care for an animal that will cost money? Are you aware of how long the pet will live? Making those big decisions for a person on the receiving end of your well-intentioned gift may be crossing a line. Would you want to have such a life-changing decision made for you?

Furthermore, the holiday season is not one ideally suited for making careful decisions. People are often swept up in emotions and even stress, and shoppers may not be thinking rationally.

The hectic nature of the holiday season can be a difficult time for a pet to grow acclimated to its new environment. …

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