The Do's & Dont's of Giving a Child a Pet for Christmas
Are you considering getting someone you love a pet for Christmas?
How to make an informed and educated decision:
Puppies for Christmas have always been coined as a romantic staple or a child’s dream come true. However, many people do not understand the responsibility that you bestow on someone when you give them the gift of an animal. Just like buying a house, or having a baby, adopting a pet is something that is a very exciting process for everyone involved. It is important to consider the long–term commitment that comes with being a pet owner. Although, Pets for Christmas can be a wonderful gift if the timing is right.
It is imperative to make sure the person you are adopting a pet for is ready to be a responsible pet owner. Pets need attention, food, love, and exercise, all of which will cost a person time and money. All the animals here at the New Humane Society of St. Lucie County are vaccinated and neutered, but keep in mind that animals may still need to see a vet which can be a financial burden on someone who is not ready for that kind of responsibility. Not being able to afford to or not having the time to be able to take care of a pet may lead to unintentional neglect and abuse towards the animal.
Something to Keep in Mind:
When considering giving a child a pet as a gift, keep in mind you may have to teach the child how to take care of it. During the holidays, many of us have families in and out of our home. While it is important to socialize your pet, they may have a hard time adjusting with strangers in the house. Another point to consider is that during the holidays there are always extra decorations, gifts, and things that could be harmful to a pet.
Pets are a wonderful companion for a child who is ready for the responsibility of one. Pets increase activity and exercise levels, instill a sense of accountability, and reduce stress in children. According to Psychology Today: 22 studies have been conducted on the impact of companion animals on childhood development and overall childhood pets have led to high self-esteem, cognitive development and social skills.
If you are sure that your child is ready for the responsibility of a pet, consider giving them a pet toy, or treats as a gift. You can include a small card that says you will accompany them to pick out their furry friend after the holidays are over. Your furry friend will have an easier time settling into your home at the break of the new year!