With the Christmas approaching you may be tempted to adopt a new pet into your family as a surprise gift. Or, perhaps you are considering gifting a kitten or puppy to a friend or significant other. However, because of the responsibility involved with pet ownership, and the individual considerations that should be made when selecting the perfect pet, giving a pet as a gift is not always the best idea.

Here’s why…

Reasons to Wait

Adopting a new pet into your family is a big decision. For many of us, the pets we adopt become our best friends and closest companions, so it’s only natural to want that we should want the right pet at the right time.

Not only is the hustle and bustle of the holiday season an extremely stressful time to welcome a new pet into your home, but it’s also a stressful time to adapt to a new home and family for your pet. Ideally a new pet should be introduced to your family when the focus can be on your new friend, not the festivities.

Likewise, choosing the right pet for someone else can be nearly impossible. And the range of circumstances to consider when it comes to pet ownership cannot be predicted by anyone other than the pet owner. If you’d like to gift a pet to someone, talk to him or her first and then find the right pet together – after the holidays have passed.

Impulse Shopping

Pet adoption is a big responsibility. The care, cost, and lifestyle that is associated with a pet should be considered when making the decision to adopt an animal, as should your ability to commit to your new pet for the duration of its life.

Sadly, the urge to throw caution to the wind when looking into the face of an adorable animal dressed up in a Santa hat can be hard to resist. But the consequences of an impulse pet can be heartbreaking.

Over 6 million pets ending up in shelters every year, and half of those pets never find new homes. Sadly, pets given as gifts over the holidays have a higher “return” rate than pets adopted into a family the rest of the year, adding to that statistic considerably.

Most often, pets are surrendered because their owners did not know what to expect when taking them home—a fate that can easily be avoided by not buying a pet on impulse or as an accessory.

 If you are serious about adding a new pet into your life, we hope you’ll wait until after the New Year. Not only will you and your pet be happier, but the chances that you’ll be friends for life will be higher too.