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5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Pet for Christmas

So many kids have Christmas pet stories. While it’s always exciting getting a pet for Christmas, it’s also one of the biggest reasons why pets end up in animal shelters!

There are so many things that families and humans need to consider before adopting a pet for Christmas, even if that is the only thing they think someone wants.

Pets require a lot of care.

This care will be harder to organize and manage after the holiday season is over and everyone has to go back to their busy lifestyles like work and school.

Let’s take a look at 5 things to consider before getting a pet for Christmas.

5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Pet for Christmas

Do You & the Recipient Have Time for a Pet

Pets require a lot of time, care, and handling.

If you are getting one for your own family, you need to look at whether or not you have the time.

If you want to get a pet for someone else, don’t unless they have taken the time to consider it. They should also have stated that they can handle the responsibility– never assume.

If the amount of time necessary to care for a pet is in question, determine if you are willing to make sacrifices in order to allow for time.

Black and white Tuxedo cat with red ribbon under Christmas tree

Can You Afford the Cost of a Pet

The costs of pet care are rising, like everything else that a family would consider owning.

Pets require food, medical care, training courses, and sometimes boarding and sitting fees.

It is important that you think about all the regular, and possible, costs that are associated with pet care before giving them as a pet for Christmas.

Pomeranian dog under a Christmas tree

Can You Handle the Lifestyle Change

If you have never had a pet before, it is hard to understand how being a pet owner is a lifestyle.

Pets require regular exercise and entertainment, they need attention and for their families to be available to meet their needs.

Planning your days needs to include them and their schedules. You will also need to make arrangements for their care when you have to be away from home.

Are You Looking for a Puppy/Kitten or Adult

Adopting a pet for Christmas can involve adopting a pet when it is young or as an adult.

Many children are very specific about what they want, but what you adopt will need different care and attention depending on age and the kind of pet.

Puppies and kittens require a lot more work than adult pets would need.

Think about what children want and what you can provide for when making a choice.

You can also check out these tips for how to choose the perfect family pet.

Family wearing Santa hats petting new dog on Christmas

Will Everyone in the Household Welcome the Addition

Other pets and all family members need to be considered before a new pet is added to the household. This is especially true when Christmas gifts are considered.

Most pets either get along great or don’t get along at all. Every possible pet being added to a family should be introduced to other pets before a decision is made.

All the children and adults in the house also need to be comfortable with a new pet.

It is important that any fears or reservations be allowed to be worked through before a decision as big as this is made.


Wednesday 18th of October 2023

I think the holidays are less than an ideal time for pet adoption, since everything is already so stressful.

Sharon F

Thursday 1st of December 2022

pets are not temporary they are life long commitments that is something people need to remember, cute puppy's and kittens grow up .

Mary Gardner

Wednesday 5th of January 2022

These are all important things to consider. Thanks for sharing!

sarh s

Monday 6th of December 2021

I would recommend all new pet owners to put aside at least $1,000 as a just in case emergency fund for each of their pets. We've always had pets growing up and now that I have a pup of my own I swear she is the MOST EXPENSIVE dog that I think anyone has ever owned! She had parvo w/in the first week of us getting her. Thankfully she survived, but that was so expensive (like $2,000 and lots of back and forth 3 times a day for fluids and such) and right before Christmas! She turned a year old in September and my mom's cat scratched her eye, first vet visit for exam and antibiotics and ointments/gel for the eye were $350, then she developed an ear infection on the same side as the affected eye, another like $100. Everything was going good and then the eye flared up and she had to have emergency surgery to remove it. Another $1300.

Sarah L

Monday 6th of December 2021

My advice: do NOT give a pet for Christmas.

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