Are you thinking of getting or giving a pet as a Christmas gift this year?
A sweet little puppy, a cute kitten or a fluffy rabbit can melt our heart in an instant, and it’s hard to resist that little bundle of fun!
But – have you thought it through? Our emotions tend to get the better of us where baby animals are concerned.
Put your emotions to one side and think logically, because in some cases, this may not be the best time to bring a new pet into your home.
So keeping in mind that the welfare of the animal is the most important thing, here are five reasons NOT to buy a pet at this time of the year.
1. A New Pet Will Feel Insecure in a Noisy/Busy Environment
Christmas is a very busy time for most families whether they have children or not. Everyone is busy and the house is noisy with all the excitement. You know what kids are like – their ear-piercing squeals of delight as they unwrap presents, running around with new toys, (and accidentally running into the new pet with a new bike because it got in the way), well-wishers ringing the door bell, visitors coming and going – well – you get the picture! A new pet needs to be in a calm environment until he gets used to his new home and his new family, otherwise he is going to feel very insecure, confused and even frightened. A puppy or kitten will be terrified by the excessive noise of the household.
2. Constant Visitors Confuse Your New Pet
Your new pet will be confused when visitors come and go, as he will be unsure about who lives in the house and just who his “pack” is, who he belongs to. A puppy or kitten needs to be secure in his environment before introducing him to guests. Because of his insecurity, this could lead to him urinating in the house – then we are not happy. More mess to clean up – as if there isn’t enough already!
3. What Do You Do With Your New Pet If You Go Away?
Christmas is a time for visiting family and friends, and this poses a problem about what to do with your new pet. Leaving him in an unfamiliar house on his own (even just for a few hours), seems unkind, and possibly dangerous for the pet, as he hasn’t had time to get to know his surroundings yet.
If you are going away for a few days you could put him in a boarding kennel – but that doesn’t make any sense, because you just got him . . . can you imagine how confused and sad he would be?
4. Training your New Pet Delayed Because You Are Too Busy
Training a new puppy or kitten needs to begin from the first day he goes home with you. However, because you are so busy at this time of the year, the training is going to have to take a back seat. Leaving his training till things are calmer in the household is not good for him – he needs guidelines right from the start, and the longer you leave it, the harder it will be for both you and your pet.
5. Am I Prepared to Care For My Pet Long Term?
Puppies and kittens are cute and cuddly – but they grow up. Will he still be loved and given the proper care then? The last thing anyone wants is for a pet to be sent to an animal shelter – all because we haven’t thought it through. Having a pet can bring us great joy, but it is a 10-15 year commitment for the life of the pet, and we need to go into it with our eyes open. Sadly, there are too many unwanted pets surrendered to animal shelters after Christmas; please don’t be a statistic.
So, there is a lot to consider about giving a pet as a Christmas gift.
We need to think about the animal’s welfare and what is best for him – not about our own emotional needs.
A better time to think about getting a new pet would be after all the excitement of Christmas has died down, and family life is back to normal. You will have more time to spend with your pet and concentrate on training him; this in turn, will enable your pet to start bonding with you, which is crucial, and you will have a happy and obedient pet!
Animals are living creatures with feelings just like you and me.
Buying one at Christmas time needs to be thought through with great care, so please think before your make your final decision.
It is a serious and long term commitment for which you and your whole family need to be ready and prepared for.
One of my blogging buddies, Sandra, over at Fantasyfic has come up with a brilliant suggestion, and she has given me permission to share it here with you.
This is what Sandra suggested . . .
“Here is another suggestion for those parents who really want to brighten their child’s life with a pet on Christmas.
Depending on the child’s age, they could get them a book on how to be a responsible pet parent, along with a card offering a pet of the child’s choice (i.e. picking the pet out) two weeks after Christmas (or whenever it is good for the parents).
That’ll kill two birds with one stone…teach the child about good pet parenting and avoid the dangers that you mention in your post.
It might also recommend an animal shelter rescue pet, so that the family gets to be good Samaritans to boot”.
I wish I’d thought of that!
However, it just goes to show the value of having such great blogging buddies who help each other out.
Thank you so much Sandra for that excellent suggestion!