Pets are forever. Not just for Christmas. | Times | Bow & Wow

Pets are forever. Not just for Christmas.

The holiday season is traditionally a time of gift giving, not only of material things, but also when people add four-legged friends to their families. Children aren’t at school and adults are on leave from work making it convenient to adopt a pet, however, families should think about what lifestyle commitments they should make for their pets beyond the holidays.

After the excitement is over, many kids get tired of taking care of a puppy or kitten and the parents won't do it because they're too busy. Cute kittens and puppies would also eventually require obedience training, socialization, exercise and a lot of quality time, and this becomes all too hard for some families who haven’t thought through this commitment. So, about half the pets that are adopted or given as gifts during the holiday season end up abandoned or being brought to the shelter.

Pets aren't like toys. When you get bored with them you can't throw them away and get a different 'toy.' If you do that with a dog or, it hurts them. These are living creatures that deserve a huge commitment. To do that someone must be ready to take on this big responsibility.

There are more reasons for never giving an animal as a present. Selecting a pet is a personal choice, not something one individual can do for another. What if the receiver doesn't want the puppy or kitten? Do the kids and the new dog get along? This should be determined in advance of permanently acquiring a pet.

If a person wants a puppy, they should choose the pet themselves so that it is compatible with their lifestyle. They must want it, agree to accept responsibility for it and be willing to provide care for the animal.

Dogs and cats can live for more than ten years – and you have to invest a lot if you really want your pets to live a healthy and happy life.

The commitment to a newly acquired pet must last the lifetime of that animal, not just on Christmas Day. So before deciding to give a puppy or kitten - or any other animal - as a gift remember: Pets Are Forever.


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