Why Not to Give a Pet as a Christmas Gift

The first dog that we got as adults was in March and it was a 4-month-old Terrier Beagle cross. We got him from the humane society. The timing of this was significant because he had been originally a Christmas gift for a family, but after the holidays they realized that it was too much having a dog. This, unfortunately, is not an unusual case. (If they had kept him, they would have gotten a wonderful family dog that lived to 17 years old.)

There are several things to remember and discuss before you go out and get a Christmas pet. It is a very busy time of the year with shopping, cooking and going all over. There is often barely time for us let alone trying to set up a routine with a pet or giving it the time that it needs to feel comfortable in its new surroundings.

We are also possibly having more visitors to the home. This adds to the stress of being in a new place, but also with this stress they are more open to diseases. New and young pets may not yet be fully vaccinated, and all the people in and out (or just you going out lots of places and coming home) can introduce diseases to your pet they may not yet be able to fight off.

You need to consider the added cost of a pet (regardless of the time of purchase). There are supplies, vet care, day care, holiday care and all the little things that add up. It is important that you take these into consideration as well. It may become overwhelming when you add up.

And finally, remember it is a long-term commitment. It is wonderful to see your family’s face when they get the new pet as a gift, but it is not just for the holiday season. They carry responsibility for the rest of that pet’s life. Pets are great. They are becoming loving and loved family members but rushing in at Christmas is not likely the right time. Consider a quieter, slower time when you can dedicate more of your time to them without the crazy stress of Christmas.

Written by: Lisa Clifford, RTV