So, you may be thinking of giving a dog, cat, kitten, or puppy as a gift for Christmas. Please, read this first!
If you are a parent thinking of giving your child a pet for Christmas, then you and your spouse MUST talk it over first. Ask yourself how old your child is. If they are very young, then you must know that it will be up to you to take care of your child’s pet to make sure they are getting the proper pet care. If you are getting a cat, this means you will be cleaning the litter box at least once per day.
If you are getting a dog, this means you are the one who will need to first potty train the dog, and then you will be taking the dog out for a walk early in the morning before you go to work, and late in the evening before you go to bed. Oh, and there is the dog training and behavior training too.
Even if your child is older, ask yourself if they are responsible enough to take care of a pet, or if you have the ability to make them take care of their pet. You must be honest with yourselves. Don’t tell yourself that they can do it, when deep down inside you know that ulitimately you will be the caregiver because your child lacks the discipline and responsibility to take care of the pet.
Now, if you are an Aunt, Uncle, or family friend, you MUST talk this over with the parents of the child you may be thinking of giving a pet to first! It sounds like common sense, but there are many times that a child receives a pet as a gift and it is a complete surprise to the parents of the child. Make darn sure that the parents want a pet in the household, and that they have agreed to it and they have talked about all that I just discussed with each other. You can quickly cause a family feud if you spring an unwanted pet on a child and household.
The last thing anyone wants is to have a pet given as a gift to a child end up given away to a shelter and possibly euthinized just because it was not properly thought through as to whether or not it is a good idea and a good fit for a child and family. The shelters fill up with unwanted pets enough as it is. Please don’t add another innocent pet to that scenario.
Now with that said, if, and only if, you and all parties involved have gone through all of the necessary discussions and the family realizes exactly what they are getting into, then please adopt a pet from a shelter or pet rescue. Please, please do not buy from a pet store, as most pet store puppies are from puppy mills. You will most likely get a dog with many problems if you buy from a pet store.
If you have a specific breed in mind, then seek out a very reputable breeder of cats or dogs. Remember, a reputable breeder will interview you and make sure that you are a good fit for the pet. The same goes for a reputable rescue organization. These people really care about the pets they adopt out, and if the fit is not right, then they will turn you down. Don’t be discouraged though. There is a pet out there that is right for your situation which is the right breed with the right personality and temperament for your family.