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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pets as Christmas Gifts

One of the most endearing commercials you will see at this time of year is the one with the little girl, dressed in the Christmassy red night gown, who rushes down the stairs Christmas morning to find the gift she has wished for with all of her heart. A very cute puppy in a basket wearing a big red bow.

While the wishing for such a gift may well be true (not to mention a great marketing technique!) it certainly is not a practical portrayal of real life. First of all no puppy is going to voluntarily stay in a basket waiting for that child to wake up! And lets not even get into what shape the rest of the Christmas packages, that were under the tree, now look like!

I have a number of friends that work with shelter groups and I have agreed to post this message on behalf of homeless pets everywhere. Let me state at the beginning that the thoughts expressed below are simply that, ideas to consider and does not apply in all cases. Just please consider them if you are thinking of adding a pet at this time of year.

If your child/family is looking to get a pet, experts suggest that Christmas is not the ideal time to purchase one. Christmas is such a hectic time, with people coming and going, bright lights, strange and exciting new objects around. This can be overwhelming to a new member of the household. A puppy  for instance, will require a lot of attention to acclimate him/her to the new family, new routines, obedience and potty training. An adopted pet will have the same issues as a pup does but may also have some anxiety getting adjusted to the new family let alone all the visitors. Understandably you will want to get your new family member started off on the right paw!

If you are really set on a puppy as a gift experts suggest that you get a stuffed dog with a note attached, and place it under the tree in a basket letting your child/family know that as soon as the festivities is over the new puppy will be arriving or that you will be taking a trip to the local shelter to pick out your new friend.

As for giving a puppy or dog to an adult, while this maybe a very thoughtful gift, most of the time it doesn't work well for a variety of reasons. The recipient may very well want a dog but may desire different traits, characteristics, breed type, etc. Again, another way to handle this would be to give a gift card or basket with some doggy toys and a note that you would be willing to help locate or purchase a dog of his/her choosing.

The key here is that there are so many dogs (and cats for that matter) that end up in shelters, instead of a home were they are truly wanted and matched to that family's expectations and lifestyle.

Ok, I hear someone else needs the soapbox for awhile, so with that being said, I am probably preaching to the choir here in any case but I did promise to post this information!

Happy DOT's everyone,

Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too!

1 comment:

Sharon Mosby said...

Pets are good Christmas gifts. However, the person receiving the gift should be ready for this, or else the pet will just end up in a shelter.