Do Pets make good Christmas Presents?


Head Receptionist

It is all too familiar, red bows wrapped around a small kitten or puppy’s neck to surprise the kids for Christmas. It seemed like a great idea at first, especially seeing the ecstatic look on the kids precious faces. They have always wanted a pet!

Then, reality sets in. The children being typical children do not want to feed the pet or take the pet outside. So, mom or dad have to fulfill the obligation. It gets really tough when the puppy play bites, and the child then does not like her Christmas present so much anymore. This occurs often, but not always. It occurs enough that there is over a 5% increase in the number of pets returned to the shelters after Christmas.

All too often, these pets are an impulsive purchase and not well thought out . Pets are a 10 to 20 year long commitment and require so much more other than a typical present will offer children.

If you are considering purchasing a pet for Christmas anyway, there are rules of thumb to follow in order to be a great fur-parent.

  • Make certain pets are vaccinated properly. Vaccinations are necessary for your pets in order to protect them from fatal illnesses and require a series given where as to build up their immunity.

    Puppy Vaccinations Kitten Vaccinations
    6 Weeks 9 Weeks
    10 Weeks 12 Weeks
    14 Weeks Yearly’s
    18 Weeks
    6 Months
    Canine Yearly’s
  • Ask yourself, the breeder, or the shelter the right questions.

    • Is the fur baby house broken?
    • Will this pet be age appropriate for my children?
    • Is this breed good with kids?
    • Will this pet get along with my other pets?
    • If adopting the pet from a shelter, why was the pet in the shelter?
      • Is there a history of behavioral concerns?
      • What is the pets medical history?
      • Is the animal up to date on vaccinations?
  • Make sure a new puppy does not come from pet stores, puppy mills, or backyard breeders.
  • Stay in touch with a reputable breeder.

    • Visit the home where the mom dog is located.
    • Most puppies have a “health guarantee” if utilizing a reputable breeder.
  • Visit the vet within 24hours of receiving the pet to have a health check-up.
  • Make certain, if giving a precious pet as a gift, that both parents are aware of the “gift”. Again, pets are a commitment!

Pets are living beings whom deserve a loving and kind environment in which to live. They do not deserve to be an abandoned gift…………..

Poem to an Abandoned Gift

Author Unknown

‘Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
every shelter is full – we are lost but not found.

Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
we hope every minute that someone will care.

They’ll come to adopt us and give us the call,
“Come here, Max and Sparkie – come fetch your new ball!!

But now we sit here and think of the days
we were treated so fondly – we had cute, baby ways,

Once we were little, then we grew and we grew –
now we’re no longer young and we’re no longer new.

So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,
they reacted so quickly – why were they so rash?

We “jump on the children”, “don’t come when they call”,
we “bark when they leave us”, we “climb over the wall.”

We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
now we suffer the consequence of the errors they made.

If only they trained us, if only we knew…
we’d have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too.

We were left in the backyard, or worse, left to roam,
now we’re tired and lonely and out of a home.

They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye…
“Maybe someone else will give you a try.”

So now here we are, all confused and alone…
in a shelter with others who long for a home.

The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,
with so many to care for, they can’t stay to chat.

They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer…
we know that they wonder how long we’ll be here.

We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads
of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.

Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears –
our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.

….. In parents’ haste to think of a gift for the kids,
there was one important thing that they missed.

A dog should be family, and it’s just not humane
To put a living, feeling pet outside on a chain.

If only Santa exclaimed as he rode out of sight,
“You weren’t giving a gift! You were giving a life!”