During the holiday shopping season, an adorable puppy or kitten might seem like a heartwarming gift idea, but it’s best to think twice. While the purchase of a new pet during the holidays is often an impulse decision, a puppy or kitten is a lifelong commitment that requires lots of thought and planning. The holidays are already a hectic time, so even if you’re fully prepared for the responsibility, it’s not a great time to bring a new pet home.
Before bringing home a furry surprise, consider whether the intended recipient truly wants a new pet. You must be certain the future caretaker has the time and funds to care for the new pet for life. If you’re considering buying a pet for your kids, decide as a family if everyone truly wants a new pet and if so, what type of pet would be best for the whole family. Remember that part of the fun of getting a new pet is selecting the perfect companion; thrusting your own choice upon someone else denies them the opportunity to select the pet of their dreams. Consider gifting the recipient with the adoption fee for their local shelter so they can make their own decision. You can always wrap up some pet supplies so your gift recipient still has something under the tree to open.
Remember, unlike that too-small Christmas sweater, if your new pet is not a good fit for your family, you can’t just return it. Take the time to make an informed decision and you and the new pet will be happier.