Should you give a pet for Christmas? Tis the season for gift giving, memorable moments and big surprises. Sometimes that “big surprise” is a new puppy (or other pet) under the tree. Here are a few things to consider before you try to sneak a new pet into the house on Christmas morning…
Do they really have the time?
With the holiday break from school and work, it can be easy to forget the reality of the long days spent in the classroom or office. Take careful consideration of how much time you will really have to train and bond with your new family member. And remember that they need a lot of quality time with you to adjust to their new forever home.
Are they ready?
Everyone is different. Some fourth graders really are more mature than some high school aged kids. And only you as the parent really know if your child is ready or not. But it’s still a good idea to have an honest conversation beforehand about the responsibility of caring for a pet. Are they ready for the years of care it will require? And not just caring for them in the good times. What if the pet gets sick? Or what if something happens that now requires more specialized care?
Do you already have another pet?
If you already share your home with a dog, it might seem like a no-brainer adding a puppy to the mix. But how well will your current dog handle sharing his home. Or how would your cat feel about sharing the attention with a new kitten? This goes for all pets. Take the time to think about your current fur-baby and how to best introduce them to avoid a fight and hurt feelings all around. For some helpful information on dealing with Jealousy in dogs, click here!
Are they close to graduating? If so, will they be able to take the new pet off to college with them? Or will that make you the sole caretaker of Fido? Is the family planning on a big move in the next few years? And if so, will the new house be as pet friendly? These are all things to consider before making that knee-jerk decision to get a pet for Christmas.
If you do decide your child (or loved one) is truly prepared for the life long commitment that an animal requires, please consider adopting from your local shelter. There are so many wonderful pets waiting for the perfect human to come along and give them a loving, caring life long home!
And as always, you can visit us at Woodard Mercantile for everything your new family member will need. Food, bedding, grooming supplies, health care products, toys, treats and so much more!