It’s that time of year, and kids everywhere are completing their holiday wish lists, hoping Santa missed all those naughty moments and will deliver a puppy or kitten on Christmas morning. But, whether your little one was naughty or nice, there are some important considerations to make before allowing Santa to put a new pet under the tree. Below, we will give some considerations to make before giving a pet as a holiday gift. 

Lifestyle

Are you a family of hikers or loungers? Do you live in a condo with no outdoor space or a house with a fenced backyard? Before adding a pet to the family, you must consider your family’s lifestyle and the needs of the pet. An energetic dog will need frequent exercise, a high jumper will need a fence high enough to keep him in the yard, and a lap dog will want a homebody who enjoys cuddling.

Time

Will your new pet be left alone for 8+ hours every day? Will you or someone in your family have time to walk a new dog or play with a new cat? What about cleaning up your dog’s business in the backyard or cleaning out the kitty litter regularly? And, consider the time required to properly train a new pet. If your family neglects to teach your new companion right from wrong, you’ll all regret it later. Pets require a significant time commitment, and your child should understand all that’s involved before asking Santa for a puppy.

Money 

Just because Santa is delivering a “free” pet on Christmas morning, doesn’t mean that companion won’t cost you in the future. According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent $69.51 billion on their pets in 2017. Expenditures included food, supplies, over-the-counter medications, veterinary care, grooming, boarding, and more.

Commitment 

When you purchase or adopt a new pet, it’s a lifelong commitment. Many children beg and plead for a new pet, only to eventually tire of the companion and leave all the pet duties to Mom or Dad. If your child really wants a pet, she’ll still be asking in April, long after the holiday décor has been packed away and Santa is back at the North Pole. 

With the excitement of the holidays, if you do give a pet as a gift, be sure to remember that they are a big responsibility and should be added to a family who is ready for the responsibility of a pet.

If you have any questions about getting a new pet, contact us!