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Is a Pet a great present? Maybe…Maybe not.

The Holiday season is here, whether we are ready or not. Often times we rack our brains to come up with the perfect gift for our loved ones. Should we go with the tried-and-true winners we do year after year? Does dad really need another necktie? Does mom really want that kitchen appliance? Do our kids need another toy? The answer to all those questions is likely NO! 

What about that puppy or kitty that everyone is always begging for? Before adding a pet to your home, you should honestly answer a few questions first. 

  1. What kind of animal is right for us? 
  2. How much time and energy will this pet require? 
  3. What are some of the health concerns typical for this breed should we be aware of? 
  4. How much do vaccinations, licensing, food, toys, etc cost per year? 
  5. Do we have the space a pet requires? 

My 8-year-old daughter asked for a puppy for her most recent birthday. My husband and I chuckled and said, “Maybe one day honey.” We knew that a pet isn’t something that is going to fit into our lives right now with as busy as our kids are with outside activities like dance, gymnastics, soccer, and basketball. We also want to try traveling with our kids now that they are a little older and it isn’t always easy to travel with a pet or find someone to watch them. With our time being spent elsewhere, we agreed that it would be irresponsible to bring a pet into our home if we can’t give it the love, time, and energy it deserves. 

I think every parent hears the promises from their children that they will take care of it and clean up after it, but we all know that children need to be children and the responsibility will fall onto the adult in the household.

Before giving a pet as a present, you need to think about the cost of the supplies that it will take and if that person already has them or not. You might need a crate, bed, food bowls, leashes, toys, or litterboxes; not to mention the food, vaccines and getting them spayed or neutered. Would the recipient of that cute dog or cat be able to afford that? 

While returning a sweater or game that we got as a gift is relatively easy, surrendering an animal might not be. Your local Humane Society or shelter might be great places to surrender them but be sure to call first to ask about their intake process. The last thing you would want is for an animal to potentially be euthanized because of space issues. 

Whether a pet is a gift for the holidays or just another random Tuesday, please consider all the time and money it may cost before welcoming a new addition to your home. Also, visit your local Humane Society to see what kind of animals they have available to adopt because you may just find the perfect family member. Happy Holidays.


First Published on Beatrice Daily Sun:

  • Beatrice Himane Society
    Beatrice Himane Society
  • Oakview Veterinary Clinic
    Oakview Veterinary Clinic
  • Shelter Animals Count Participant
  • 24PetWatch

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