You want to surprise a loved one with a kitten as white as snow dressed in a big red bow under the Christmas tree this year. Better yet! What about an adorable golden retriever puppy popping out of a gift box! Yup. Giving a furry friend this holiday season sounds like a picture-perfect idea. Unfortunately, adopting or offering a pet at this busy time of year might turn out to be a recipe for disaster. Here are a few questions to reflect upon before embarking on this journey.
What to Think About Before Giving a Pet as a Gift
Before inviting an energetic fur ball to your Christmas dinner, it might be wise to ask yourself a few key questions. The same goes for the family member or friend you wish to adopt a pet for. Checking before you give someone an animal remains the safest way to make sure you don’t have a heartbreaking decision ahead. After all, a four-legged companion doesn’t come with a gift receipt like that ugly sweater your great-aunt keeps on buying year after year!
Are You Ready for This Long-Term Commitment?
Are you ready to commit to your new furry friend for 10, 15 or even 20 years? This is how long dogs, cats or rabbits can be around. Adopting a pet becomes a long-term contract! It is also crucial to check out an important detail. Do you or the future owner suffer from allergies? You don’t want to have to give up that loveable mutt after a few weeks because you discover you have the sniffles day after day.
Can You Afford It?
Talking about money is no fun, but truth be told, pets are a serious financial investment in the long run. Food, accessories, doggie daycare and grooming can add up fast. Visits to the vet, planned or not, can also dig a huge hole in an already tight budget. Can you cover these unexpected costs?
Do You Have Enough Space?
A kitty only needs a few square metres, but a dog definitely requires more room to move around. If you don’t have a backyard, it’s smart to look for a fenced in place for your canine friend to run, fetch and exercise, such as a dog park. What does this mean? As much as your 5 year old is longing for a Saint-Bernard after watching the movie Beethoven for the 34th time, it might not be suitable for your condo life.
Do You Have Time?
Ah! Time. The great 21st-century challenge! A cat can spend quite a few hours alone, but a dog needs a best buddy who is willing to change their schedule and routine around for long walks and play time. If your calendar is already overflowing, Max might grow impatient waiting for his workout session and develop serious behaviour issues. Keep in mind that becoming the parent of a fuzz ball overnight means a few sleepless nights and many days helping them get accustomed to their new surroundings. Dogs also require training and potty training. Can you find enough hours in your busy life?
A Pet for Christmas: Yes or No?
You answered NO to one of these questions? Best to wait a little. Don’t despair, the perfect timing will surely come. You said YES to everything in a heartbeat? You feel a 100% ready to adopt or offer a loved one a pet. Keep on reading.
A Cat in the Christmas Tree and Other Catastrophes.
The ultimate question: Are the holidays really the best time of year to welcome a new four-legged member to the family? Here is a quick scenario. Your relatives are all gathered around the tree in your living room. Uncle Bob just spilled his last glass of whiskey on the white carpet, the kids seem high on sugar from too many candy canes, leftover turkey is drying on the kitchen counter. Christmas lights are flashing like a disco ball and ribbons and wrapping paper are covering every inch of the floor. Now add a cute puppy or cat in the picture. Need we say more? Let’s face it, the holidays are usually busy and hectic. Adopting a pet on top of it all might turn out to be a stressful moment for you, your loved ones and the animal itself. Why not wait for January when life gets back to normal?
Gift Ideas While Waiting for a Pet
You might not have a fluffy puppy under the tree this Christmas after all! In the meantime, though, why not surprise the future owner (or yourself), with a gift basket filled with essential items for the big day! Include a book about how to train a dog, cute food bowls for the pup and a CROCX gift certificate for awesome treats, toys, collars and leashes made from hemp.
Your Best Friend Is Waiting for You at the Animal Shelter
When it’s A day … as in Adoption Day, don’t forget to stop by your local animal shelter. It is probably bustling with dogs and cats looking for a new place to call home and a kind human to give unconditional love to. A visit will convince you. Merry Christmas to all of you animal lovers out there!