Years ago, my loser ex-boyfriend got me a cell phone for Christmas. He couldn’t commit to me, but he could commit me to a $39.95/monthly contract for the next 2 years? Geez, thanks (I’m happily married now so I suppose it shouldn’t matter lol)…

When it comes to getting a pet as a gift for someone for the holiday season, think again… While your squealing loved one may initially adore that cute kitten, bunny, or puppy, the gift-receiver often isn’t ready for the commitment of it. Which leaves you…the Mom (being the most responsible member of the family, right?) taking care of it, walking it, cleaning it’s litter box, bathing it, and paying to feed it and vaccinate it for the next decade or so.

Top 3 Reasons Not to Give Pets as Presents

1. Pets are living, breathing creatures.  Depending on what kind of pet, the pet could be alive from 2 – 40 years.  Yes, that is a long time.  Forcing that kind of commitment on someone is not fair, kind, or, a good gift giving policy. 

2. Your pet choice may not be what your recipient wanted.  Picking a pet is a very personal thing, and just because you the pet, doesn’t mean your recipient will.  Do you know how many animals, bought at pet stores, from breeders, or “saved” from shelters end up abandoned, relinquished, or returned?  The ASPCA says approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats) in our country, but I will tell you, many were simply killed, due to lack of space or time.

3. Pets are expensive.  Yearly maintenance for a pet of virtually any size can be over $1,000, with costs on the rise.  While they aren’t as expensive as children, you also wouldn’t give a child as a present.

If you want to help someone adopt a pet, consider sponsoring their adoption costs.  Go with them to look at pets.  Wear your logical and rational hat, don’t just fall into a pair of fuzzy eyes and never look back.  Take a night or two, think it over.  Ask if you can foster to adopt.  Be prepared to answer a lot of questions.  

Before purchasing a pet for the holidays, make sure everyone in the family is ready to commit to it and is ready to tackle on all the responsibility…with the payoff being love and loyalty! 

Have a horror pet holiday story? Do share!

Beth Green, Owner
Paws Pet Care Pet Sitting & Dog Walking