Well, it’s that time of year again and people go crazy for shiny lights and lots of food. But do you know what else people go crazy for this time of year? Furbabies! But, before you think of adopting a pet this holiday season, take a look at these suggestions of what to do and not do for a holiday pet adoption!
Adopting and giving a pet is a popular idea as a gift and it’s an incredibly touching gesture, but it isn’t always the right thing to do.
If you want to give a pet, here are things to keep in mind as you go about it.
Don’t Put a Pet Under the Tree
It’s a great picture, the kid’s faces as they see a new animal under the tree, but the reality is that the holidays are usually a time of commotion and change, which is exactly what an animal in a new environment doesn’t need.
A situation like this can make an animal very nervous, which can lead to bad things.
Leave a picture of the animal under the tree, or toys that will be theirs, and wait till things settle down a bit before actually bringing the pet home.
Check Your Options
Shelters are packed with great cats and dogs looking for forever families, but they might not fit your needs.
There are lots of options like pet guinea pigs or other small rodents but do your homework first.
Make sure there aren’t allergies or other issues that might crop up.
Don’t Give an Exotic Pet
These pets carry a lot of wow factors and can be great, but they need to be planned for as they usually have special needs and come with risks.
Turtles can have salmonella, birds are vulnerable to stress, change, and loud noises.
Don’t Wing It
Don’t just pick something up on a whim and hope it goes well.
Different pets have different needs, even if you’ve had one before.
This is especially true of rescue animals.
Do stock up
If you are giving a pet as a gift, make sure you give a “starter kit” for the animal.
Make sure there is bedding, food, toys, bowls, and whatever might be needed.
Those can be given as gifts that lead up to the animal, helping build anticipation.
Do plan for the future
Pets are expensive, make sure that whoever you are giving them to can handle it.
Vaccinations, spay/neutering, food, grooming, and accidents can all add up. Giving a pet isn’t a one-shot expense.
Do Expect to Need Approval
Most shelters are hesitant to allow their animals to be given as gifts because they so often end up coming back.
Many require home visits or for the entire family to come in and meet the animal and sign an agreement.
Shelters want to help the animals and they know that going to the wrong home or being adopted and returned can be worse for the animal than just staying in the shelter.
Giving a shelter animal can be a great thing for both the animal and its new family, but it is not a spur of the moment thing.
Plan it out and make sure that the animal and family match and that everything is ready to make it a special gift.
For even more information, you may like to read these 5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Pet for Christmas!