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Pets as Presents!

Few gifts spark the joy that a kitten or puppy does when presented as a holiday surprise. But it's important to remember that you're handing over a timid, living creature that's just been taken away from its first home and thrust into a noisy new environment. Before giving a pet as a present:

  • Make sure that the recipient wants the pet for keeps, not just as a novelty, and fully understands and is able to deal with the commitment.
  • Don't put pets in gift boxes; use a purpose built crate or pet carrier instead.
  • Present the new pet in a quiet room, away from the festivities.
  • Prepare a bed or pen in the assigned room and have only two or three people visit the new family member at a time.
  • Consider giving a late present instead: Post-holiday surrender of pets has reached epic proportions - nearly 65 percent of puppies purchased this holiday season will be relinquished before next holiday season - so a better idea is to give a symbolic present and plan a New Year's trip to a shelter to a rescue an unwanted pet, and perhaps save a life.
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