The holidays are a popular time to get your children the pet they’ve always wanted. Who can resist an adorable puppy or kitten with a bow under the Christmas tree? If you are thinking about getting a pet this year, I encourage you to consider ‘adopting’ a pet instead of buying one. There are a lot of benefits to adopting a pet over buying one from a pet store. For some of the reasons why, please see THIS ARTICLE. Truly, good pets can come from anywhere, but I also recommend not picking a pet that is coming from a non-reputable breeder or puppy mill. For more information about what puppy mills are, please check out THIS ARTICLE.
A great way to give a pet, especially to someone who does not live in your home, unless you know the person really well, is take the future pet parent for to the shelter, rescue or store and let them chose the pet they want. Sometimes that is not possible… Sometimes if it is for your child your input is the final choice. Or sometimes you know grandma or grandpa would love a pet or needs one and taking them just won’t work out, so each situation is different. But if you can take them for a pre-visit or actually to choose their new friend it’s ideal. If not, choose a pet they would want, rather than one you want. And then adopt just one more for yourself as well, if you possibly can. There are far too many pets who need forever homes.
If you are a pet lover, please donate funds and supplies or volunteer your time to local rescues and shelters or consider fostering or taking a pet home for the holidays… and then helping find them a permanent forever home.
Adopt (or rescue) just one more pet and you are not only saving a life but enhancing yours… or that of a friend, family member or just a lonely soul. Those of us who have pets know that loving an animal and having them love you awakens a part of your soul that changes your life forever!
With today’s economy, plus the return of pets to the shelter of people who think animals are toys, there are more pets who need homes than ever before, so please consider giving some of these pets a home for the holidays and forever.
Critter for Christmas Gift… Not Always the Best Idea… Unless It is Done the Right Way!
h/t to Cindy Wolff
If you are really thinking of surprising someone with an animal for Christmas, make sure it’s made of fake fur and stuffed. If you really want to get someone a pet for Christmas, give them a gift certificate or and IOU and then take them to find a pet, if they want one, of their choosing… or take them pre-shopping or along with you to pick one out.
Nothing says “I’m clueless” like giving an animal at Christmas to someone who was neither wanting nor expecting that gift.
After the oohing and ahhing at the precious animal, the reality of what you’ve done sets in.
You have just given someone a 10 to 15-year commitment (the oldest dog alive is 27) that can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred to thousands of dollars for care.
If you give a puppy, then you have further obligated them to be home every two or three hours to take the pup outside to use the bathroom.
They will spend the next year teaching their pup to be a good dog and not tear things up, don’t jump up, stop barking, house training and all the work that goes with helping the pet become a decent part of the family.
Cats are easier because you don’t have to go stand outside with them in 30-degree temperature on a freezing rainy day and beg them to use the bathroom.
But you are still obligating your beloved to the care of a pet. Also, why would you assume to know what personality of a pet suits what person? That’s a personal thing.
Pets are a very personal choice and the right fit is best for both the pet and their new parent. I’ve always adopted my pets based on their personality fit into my home. These are not plug-and-play toys. Some people prefer affectionate cats, while others don’t mind the aloof ones. Some like long-hair, some like short-hair.
Some people might actually feel like you’re given them a gift of obligation that never stops costing or needing, or insist you take it back.
So, if you want to adopt an animal for your family and you want your children to have a pet, that is one thing, but even then, you might consider buying a stuffed animal with a note attached that you will go as a family and adopt a pet after Christmas or even this spring.
People have more time off. They don’t mind being outside so much in the better weather. And your family can decide what pet fits.
Spend this time researching various breeds, figuring out which ones, like Dalmatians, are athletic and require a lot of exercise and attention and which ones, like Rottweilers, are couch potatoes.
You’ll learn that Jack Russell Terriers aren’t as sedate as the character Eddie on the television show “Frasier” and all puppies aren’t as bad as Marley.
But the biggest lesson you will learn is that pet ownership is not something you decide like choosing a lamp. It’s a long-term commitment of money, time and love. The reward is immeasurable, but it’s not usually something you decide for someone else. They often need to find it for themselves.
*And if you are getting a pet for a senior… make sure they are able to care for them and that there is supervision for the pets as well as for the seniors if they suffer from conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
- Pet Therapy: Pets help Alzheimer’s patients by bringing them back to the present. Specially trained pups can also help alert others that an Alzheimer’s patient has wandered into harm’s way. “Pets can provide a measure of safety to people with the disease,” says Thomas Kirk, a vice president of a chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
- Pets are way better than Therapy!
The good news is that there are so many places to adopt a pet these days! Fees vary and many are often waived this time of year. Below are just a few resources:
Petfinder and Adoptapet are two terrific resources to search all adoptables at local rescue groups – the cool part is that on Adoptapet you can save your search and plug in your email and they will email you when pets that match your search come up.
Adopt and Shop – An amazing new “pet store” with shelter animals in Lakewood. They get all pets from the SEEACA animal shelter in Downey. Here’s the best part: adoption counselors are available to help match you with the perfect pet for your family. Your new pet will come complete with leash/collar or food, litter etc. All vaccinated, microchipped and spayed or neutered and can go home that day! I am not sure about the prices so you will need to call them but will average around $100 compared to the thousands for a pet store puppy with no vaccines, microchip, supplies, counselors, after adoptions support and spay/neuter. Some pets available at Adopt and Shop:
Petco and PetSmart will have adoptions at all of their stores this season.
FoundAnimals Whisker Wonderland — A Holiday Adopt-a-Thon all over Los Angeles
“A Canine Christmas Extravaganza Adoption Event”
Increase the merry in your holidays by adopting your new best friend!
Ho ho ho! Attend a Jolly Adoption Event in Your Area Like the One at Paws-Abilities Total Dog Center!
Find your own Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, or Vixen!
Photos are usually taken by the charities themselves or by photographers like PawPrints Pet Photography and they will make beautiful Christmas gifts!
10% to 100% of the proceeds from the purchased photos are generally donated to Animal Rescue Groups and Shelters…
Opt to Adopt and give the gift of a furever home to a loving dog for Christmas this year!
Shelter and Rescue Groups bringing their dogs:
- American Cocker Spaniel Rescue
- Barks R Us
- Collar of Hope
- Greyhound Pets of America, Greater Northwest
- Humane Society of Central Washington
- Left Behind K9
- Motley Zoo Animal Rescue
- Open Paws Resort
- Regional Animal Services of King County
- Res Q Angels
- Sunny Sky’s Animal Rescue
- Valhalla Canine Rescue
- Yakima Valley Pet Rescue
*Pawsitive Alliance’s mission is to end the killing of adoptable dogs and cats in Washington by increasing adoptions, supporting spay and neuter programs, and improving pet retention.
If you know of any local pet adoption events going on, please let me know and I will add them on here!
Related Fun Pet Christmas Posts:
‘Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Soul Remains Unawakened’ – Join the NO KILL MOVEMENT
Two great new books for the holidays: ‘Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas’ (Kindle) and The Romney Family Table: Sharing Home-Cooked Recipes & Favorite Traditions (Kindle) Plus: Losing Our Religion(Kindle) by atheist S. E. Cupp