Are you planning on giving a pet to someone this holiday season? Please download, print and wrap up a Home at the Holidays certificate instead! Pets do NOT make good surprise gifts. Instead, give that loved one a chance to pick out the pet of their choice (must meet adoption requirements) at a time that is most convenient to them – and tell them that you will go with them and pay for the adoption. So often we see an influx of pets being surrendered to us after the holidays because their owners weren’t ready for a new pet.
Are they ready?
Adopting a companion animal is a big commitment. Answer these questions to see how much you really know about the person you are considering giving the gift of companionship.
1. Has your friend or loved one expressed interest in adopting a pet?
2. Does this person or any members of the household have allergies to pets?
3. Is this person aware of the responsibility and care associated with being the guardian of a pet? Is he or she aware that a cat can live for 15-20 years and a dog for 10-15 years?
4. Would you feel comfortable if this person gave you such a significant gift?
5. Is your friend ready to deal with the late-night crazies and other high-energy antics of a young pet? Would an older pet be more appropriate?
6. Will he or she be bothered by having hair on everything—from clothes to toast?
7. Is he or she aware that pets can be destructive? The new pet will need appropriate surfaces such as scratching pads and posts and chew toys.
8. Do you know if your friend’s landlord allows pets? Will everyone in the household be as happy to receive a new pet?
9. Are there other pets in the home? Will the current pets welcome a new addition?
10. Does this person understand the financial responsibility of caring for a new pet (cost of food, vet visits, toys, etc.)?
11. Are there children in the household? How old are they? Consider that a rambunctious puppy or kitten may not be a suitable pet for an infant or toddler.
12. Is the pet a gift for a child? Getting a pet is not the way to teach a child responsibility, and the animal may be harmed if the child fails to take care of the new pet.
Give a certificate for a future adoption. It’ll be worth the wait!