October is Adopt a Shelter Pet Month and shelters all across the U.S. are hoping you’ll adopt. That being said, the countdown is on. We have less than 11 Monday’s until Christmas morning. You may be finished shopping, or it may just have occurred to you that Christmas is right around the corner. If you’re considering a puppy this holiday season, you might want to think twice about adopting at Christmas time. If you find the perfect pet for your family, this month is a good time adopt. Even though a puppy looks cute under the Christmas tree, that cuteness soon wears off and the responsibility sets in.
Here are five reasons you should hold off on the puppy, or maybe even the kitten you might be considering this year.
Put a puppy under the tree at Christmas and your children will begin to treat it like any other toy they just unwrapped. They might play with it for a few minutes and when they get bored, they’ll move on to play with something else. Many children are not capable of taking care of a dog or cat and when that happens, no one else wants to step in and take over the responsibility. We might get a puppy thinking our children will feed it, take it for walks and clean up his poop but that’s unrealistic. Unless, you, the adult, want to accept a puppy as a responsibility, it’s best to hold off until children are a little older.
If a family member expresses interest in a puppy or a kitten, it’s best that everyone be involved. It’s not right to bring an animal into a home that never wanted a puppy or a kitten to begin with. If you are considering a new pet, however, make sure the one you choose is the right fit for your family, or family member. An active family might be a good fit for a young puppy because children have the energy to run and play with a younger dog. Grandparents however, might prefer a slightly older dog that enjoys a slower paced lifestyle, a lap dog, perhaps. Giving an animal to someone that doesn’t want one could result in the neglect of the animal. Make sure you have permission first and choose the animal together, as a family.
When considering a puppy or kitten, remember this: “There is no such thing as a free puppy.” Puppies and kittens require many things. Those items include: Food, a food dish, and a water dish and a bed for the puppy to sleep in. You’ll need a leash, a crate and money to spend at the veterinarian.
A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you cannot afford the adoption fee, then you won’t be able to afford the animal. Animals need to be spayed and neutered to help cut down on the pet population. Is this an expense you are able to take on? Your animal will need shots and grooming, and exercise. Think about whether or not this is something you want to accept. If not, you might be better off fostering an animal until it finds a home. You get to love on that animal without spending a lot of money. The rescue agency or humane society should take care of food, veterinary care, etc.
It’s best not to take on an animal, at Christmas, or anytime, if you see your life changing in the near future. If you’re anticipating a big move, you might want to hold off until you are settled in your new place. Bringing a new puppy along for the ride will only be stressful for the both of you. If you plan to start a family, consider holding off bringing home a new animal until your family is settled as well. Babies, like puppies and kittens, require around the clock care. If you aren’t able to devote time and attention to house training a puppy it’s best to wait.
The best way to gift an animal is as a gift certificate that will cover the adoption fee of the animal. You could also wrap up a food dish, a water dish, and several toys. Place those under the tree instead. Once the holiday season has died down, go as family and pick out your new family member, together.
Choosing to bring an animal into your home is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Animals are a commitment for the life of the animal. They are not disposable and require upwards of twenty years of care. They need exercise, food, and medical attention. While puppies and kittens are cute, they need to be trained and cared for. Make sure you’re up to the task before bringing a new animal into your home.
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