Think twice about animals as holiday gifts

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The idea sounds so cute. A little puppy or kitten in a box under the Christmas tree just waiting to surprise an unsuspecting boy or girl.

But the idea of pets as gifts may backfire.

According to the novelty of receiving a puppy, kitten or baby bunny as a gift can quickly wear off.

The pet may have been a gift but that is just the start of what can be an expensive relationship.

Some costs to consider are:

  • Food
  • Bedding and toys
  • Veterinary care
  • Grooming expenses
  • Time to exercise, play with and train the animal
  • Boarding or pet sitting costs

Plus, the holidays can be a very stressful time. Introducing a new pet into a home can add a lot of stress for both the animal and the new owners.

It’s important to remember responsible pet ownership involves a strong relationship between the animal and the human. A bond between the animal and potential owner can be formed during the selection process.

The Humane Society suggests that the gift giver might want to bring the potential owner along during the selection process. It takes the surprise out of the gift but it can also head-off a lot of problems later on. One of those problems is a flood of animal surrenders in January when the novelty of the holiday gift pet wears off and the reality of pet care sinks in.

One suggestion is giving a gift certificate for an adoption instead of an animal. That will give the future pet owner a chance to select their “perfect” companion.

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