Pets as A Christmas Gift??

I'm sure many of you have been thinking about, but have been drawn away from other headlines you may see online saying

  • Pets Aren’t Presents

  • 5 Reasons Not to Give Pets as Christmas Gifts

  • Why You Should Avoid Giving Pets as Gifts

These headlines I'm sure you have been seeing all over the internet have a point but only to a certain extant. Shelters do have the highest pet return rate after the holidays because of unprepared owners. People don't realize the commitment they are getting themselves into when adopting or purchasing a pet for the holidays.

But here's the thing... I personally think dogs or cats are great gifts for Christmas BUT if and only if its going into a prepared household that has thoroughly thought about the decision they're making into bringing a living animal and the responsibilities and cost it comes with for the next decade or too of their life. As long as all those criteria's are met then I believe its a great thing especially when it comes down to adopting a new pet from the shelter and giving them a fuurrever home.

Here is another's authors viewed literature "Should Dogs and Cats be Given as Gifts" published in the open-access journal Animals in 2013. You can access the full study here, but here’s what the authors state in the intro

"Common arguments include statements such as: pet ownership shouldn’t be an impulse decision; the recipient should consent to pet ownership and be involved in the selection of a pet that fits his or her lifestyle; it’s a long-term commitment; pet ownership is costly; the holidays are a bad time to bring home a new animal. This message may be driven by concerns of inappropriate homing and return to the shelter. Often, organizations that support these arguments cite anecdotal evidence that returns of pets from unhappy gift receivers occurs frequently. However, the available data do not support these concerns."

They went on to clarify the purpose of their study:

While there is strong existing evidence to show that dogs and cats obtained as gifts are not at a higher risk of relinquishment than dogs and cats obtained in other ways, the myth that dogs and cats should not be given as gifts still persists.

They concluded:

The lack of associations between receiving a dog or cat as a gift and its impact on self-perceived love/attachment and whether or not respondents still had the dog or cat in the home is evidence supporting the notion that pets given as gifts are not at higher risk for abandonment. Further, denying potential adopters the right to obtain dogs and cats as gifts may unnecessarily impede the overarching goal of increasing the rate of live-releases of dogs and cats from our nations’ shelter system.

Bottom line:

  1. Don’t give a pet to someone not in your household. Duh.

  2. Make sure an adult is involved in the decision. Also, duh.

  3. Pets make wonderful gifts and giving an adoptable dog or cat a home for the holidays is absolutely lovely–IF numbers 1 and 2 are strictly followed!

So what's your guys opinion on pets being given as gifts for the holidays?? Have you ever received a pet as a gift? Leave a comment down below.

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