PETS AS GIFTS
Note: Originally intended as a holiday post, I feel that giving a pet as a gift for any time or occasion still deserves the same consideration!
The holidays get a lot of people thinking of a puppy or kitten. The reasons are plenty. Did you just move into a new house with a fenced yard, so your last excuse to give the kids is gone? Maybe you’re thinking such an adorable gift will make you seem Soooo cuddly to your new boyfriend/girlfriend. Maybe it’s been a rough year, the season has you feeling extra lonely, and you could use the awesome company. If you read Our Better Best Friends, you know how I feel about that! So, really, if you’ve decided you want one, or it’s a great idea as a gift, you should be set,right? Sure! Or not.
While a family dog or cat really can be a great gift, there is a down side, too. Mommy and Daddy pick out the cutest puppy they can find, thinking how happy their kids will be. Picture perfect. And, of course, this is going to have the benefit of teaching the kids great responsibility, because they swore they would take care of a family pet if you finally bought them one. But,maybe the fun wears off, and they don’t want to take care of Fido. What about buying one for somebody else? What if the needs for that particular breed are just too much for the recipient? Here’s what happens. A lot. The few months after the holidays, animal shelters become more overrun than usual with all the “gifts” that seemed like such a good idea at the time. This breaks my heart. So, I thought maybe there was something I could do to reach at least a few with some helpful info. I asked a friend who is a vet to give some information on some expectations for caring for the new pet. Hopefully not to turn anyone against the idea, but to better prepare them to follow through, and have a new lifelong member of the family. Here are her words of advice: