With the holidays coming up, many well-meaning folks are thinking about getting their friends and families a surprise pet as a gift this year. Animals are wonderful for bringing joy into our lives, but surprising someone with one during the busiest time of the year is one way to prevent that joy from coming at all. As a veterinary service provider in Madison, CT, we at Eastshore Vet know the level of time and monetary commitment having a pet requires. Here are four reasons not to surprise someone with a pet this holiday season.
The holidays are the busiest time of the year.
When people are traveling, going to parties, running errands, cooking, decorating, and doing everything else that needs to be done around this time of year, it’s not exactly prime time to add a new furry family member. Animals, especially puppies and kittens, need extra attention when they first arrive at a new home, and the middle of the holiday season is not a time when that will be easily provided.
Animal abandonment is at its peak during the holiday season.
When families are surprised with pets during the holidays, often they aren’t equipped to handle those pets because they weren’t adequately prepared. Shelters are flooded with new charges and tons of animals find themselves without a home, possibly roaming the streets during the coldest time of the year. If you want to help a pet find a forever home with someone you care about, offer to pay the adoption fee or pay for supplies instead of just dropping a new family member into the mix without their consent.
Potential pet-owners need a chance to bond with their future companions.
Many people want to adopt an animal they feel a connection with. Sometimes it takes multiple visits to the shelter to find an animal that a person knows they’ll be able to give a forever home. If you make that choice for someone else, they don’t get to seek that bond. You may bring home an animal that will be returned to the shelter before the month is up. Instead of taking that moment away from someone else, offer to go with them to the shelter. That way, you can still help them bring an animal into their home, but they’ll be able to make a choice that works well for them.
Animals are not objects.
Toys, clothes, books, and other objects make fantastic gifts. Living creatures? Not so much. Pets are alive, and they have thoughts and feelings much like humans do. Animals should be welcomed into a home like a new family member, not like an object that can be returned to the store when we get bored with it. Animals should be treated with kindness and care. Wrapping an animal in a small, dark box is not a way to do that.
Instead of giving your friends and family members surprise pets, offer to go to the shelter with them or give them a gift card to your local pet store. Choosing a pet is a very personal decision and your loved ones will thank you for not making that decision for them. When they finally do adopt a furry companion, make sure to take them to a reputable veterinary service provider in Madison, CT like Eastshore Vet.