Despite years of campaigning by the RSPCA, it still happens. Every year, there are numerous presentations of animal pets for Christmas gifts, and for all sorts of reasons it’s a really bad idea. If you’re considering giving a pet as a Christmas present, here’s a few reasons why we’d beg you to think again:
#1. Pet Should (Almost) Never Be Given as Gifts Anyway
Pets should be a lifetime commitment, up to 15 years or more for a dog or cat. If someone says they want a pet but hasn’t got round to organising it themselves, there’s a good chance that they’re not ready. Let your friends enhance their lives with the joys of pet ownership when they decide it’s the right time.
#2. Before Engaging Your Heart Use Your Brain!
Choosing to be a pet owner should be a carefully thought out decision. There’s the maths; factoring in food, insurance, vets bills, sitters or kennels, it can easily come in at £1000 a year or more to care for a dog and there are lifestyle changes to consider too. It’s easy to get caught up in the sentimentality of Christmas and loose sight of these practicalities. Buying pets for your children may be different, but Christmas still isn’t the right time to do it.
#3. Christmas is Hectic: It’s Not Fair on the Pet
It may be the season of goodwill to all men but it’s also a chaotic and frequently stressful time. Most young animals are nervous about being introduced into a new home, they deserve a quiet environment and lots of calm, patient attention, not a houseful of over excited kids and overworked parents.
#4. Christmas is Hectic: It’s Not Fair on You
Do you really want to be slipping on puppy puddles while you’re trying to get the turkey to table? Or worrying about the kitten climbing the tree? Give yourself a break, you deserve to enjoy your Christmas and being responsible for a new, disorientated family member is really not going to make the festive season more enjoyable.
#5. Christmas Is Special, but a New Pet is Even More Special
Christmas may be the most exciting time of the year for your kids, but the introduction of a new pet, especially a puppy or kitten is something that will happen very few times during their entire childhood. It’s such a special thing that it really deserves its own occasion rather than getting lost in the general Christmas celebrations.
#6. The Concept of Pets as Christmas Gifts Give Rise to Unscrupulous Breeding
As long as people give pets as presents, puppy farmers will time litters to be ‘ready for the market’. Back in 2010 an RSPCA report reported that 3 pets an hour were abandoned over Christmas, these included six Staffordshire puppies, most likely discarded when the breeder considered them to be ‘past their sell by date’. Every loving pet owner who refuses to buy pets for Christmas is playing their own small part in addressing the problem, so we at Balham Doggy Centre hope you’ll join us in sharing the message. Don’t buy pets as Christmas presents.
#7. Give The Gift of Your Love in January
You’ll have time to give your new pet the care they deserve, the puddles and chewed shoes that were stressful at Christmas will be much easier to laugh about. If you choose your pet from a shelter not only are you avoiding being part of a problem, you’ve become part of the solution. You’ll give a second chance to a pet who had a tough start and you can be sure that your gift of a loving, forever home will be rewarded with love and loyalty.