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Pets as presents – is it a good idea? How about pet food, dog leashes, etc?

Sunday, November 8, 2009
posted by Jim Murphy

christmas-puppyIf you are thinking of giving a pet as a present, planning is key.  How many times have you seen this on TV and in the Movies. “Little Suzy” runs down the steps on Christmas morning and sees the cutest little puppy with a big red bow around it’s neck under the tree.  The problem with this is that Suzy is only three and doesn’t know what caring for a pet really means. She cries the first time the puppy bites her on the hand while the two were playing. Mom and Dad never really did any research about the dog and don’t have a clue as to how to care for it. The end of this story is a sad one. Mom and Dad put the puppy in the car and drop him off at the nearest animal shelter along with three to five million other dogs and cats that are returned to shelters each year. This makes me sad just writing this.

Before you decide on giving a pet as a gift, you must decide on these things.

1. How old are your kids? Remember the first priority in a teenagers life is their social calendar. Caring for a dog would interfere with their social activities.

2. Do your kids really want a pet?  Children like animals, but does that mean that they like to have them in the house?

3. Have you thought about the cost?  A cat costs $350 – $400 a year while a medium size dog costs between $400 and $500 a year. Larger dogs cost even more.

4. Are you committed? You will be the one feeding and walking it.

5. Are you educated about what caring for an animal entails? You have to clean up their “accidents,” take them to the vet, protect your furniture etc. It’s a big responsibility and you must understand what you are getting into.

6. You have to teach you child responsibility or both the child and pet may be harmed.

I’m not saying that it’s not a good idea to give a pet as a gift but returning him to the shelter is much worse than not adopting him at all. Be responsible, do your research and make sure that you are committed before giving a sweet, innocent dog or cat as a gift. Remember that you will need all of the accessories like food, dog leashes etc. Prepare for the expense and responsibility.



One Response to “Pets as presents – is it a good idea? How about pet food, dog leashes, etc?”

  1. Edward Houpt says:

    That is exactly how i feel about it.

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