Why Pets Are Not Good For Christmas


Anna Ortiz, Staff Writer

You run down stairs the twenty fifth of December and find a puppy all tied up in a bow under your tree. It’s cute, until you realize that you don’t have a water bowl, food, a dog bed, leash, or any of the other doggy necessities. A pet is not a gift for a day, but rather, for the rest of your life. Let’s stop buying pets because we think their cute and start adopting because we know we can provide them with the love and care they deserve.

There are many pets that are adopted, only to be returned to the shelter they came from. In fact, in a 1998 study done by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 23 participants recorded that the pet they adopted from the shelter was an “unwanted gift.”

“Pets bring joy and fun into our lives but do require time to properly take care of them. Take a look at your schedule and free time. If you are expecting a major life change (moving, new people in the household) then it also might not be the right moment for a pet,” Community Relations Manager of the Loudon County Animal Services Talia Czapki said.

If pets are often just being taken back to the rescue center, why are we still giving pets as gifts? A good candidate for a home depends on how much work and effort the family is going to put into the pet. Taking care of pets is time taking and can be stressful if you are not prepared prior to rescuing a pet.

“If your schedule is too busy to fit in the care of your pet or if you have small children or other pets that do not get along with new pet members,” a member of the Ashburn Village Animal Hospital said.

A pet lover like me could never imagine returning a hopeless pet back to the shelter right after they thought they had their forever home. However, if one does not feel like they are a good candidate, then isn’t it their duty to return the pet in hope of a better home?

If a family is truly not prepared, then it is best that they return their pet, but by giving pets to a family that has not prepared prior to receiving the pet, you are setting the pet up to be returned.

“It depends on the person, if they are not prepared then no but, if they have prepared then yes. A pet needs food, water, and a good home. Even if the person receiving the pet knows what they need, they might not know how much or often they need to be cared for,” junior Sydney Treglown said.

Dogs, cats, birds, and any other animals require much more attention, especially when being transported to a new environment. This attention starts before the pet even arrives, with food, water, toys, snacks, and medications.

“Caring for a rescue pet takes a lot of time and a lot of effort, especially at a young age, to take care of and care for the kitten and puppy,” Treglown said.

Not to mention, integrating a new family member into the household can be very hard at first. The animal might feel scared or even act aggressively towards the family, until it gets used to living in the new area.

“Pets are scientifically proven to make people happier and keeps them healthier by getting them outside more, lowering blood pressure, and giving them love,” a member of the Ashburn Village Animal Hospital said.

You must remember, animals don’t understand that the family they are moving in with is safe. Animals obviously cannot talk, and so sometimes it is harder to help your pet understand what you are trying to do.

It takes patience and a bit of time to take care of your pet, and even when it seems hard, there are many solutions to those road bumps. there is If your puppy or kitty is biting furniture, simply revert his or her attention elsewhere. There are even sprays that will prevent your animal from ripping up the couch. If your animal is really naughty, you can even enlist them in an animal training center.

“Financially stable and responsible people are good candidates. Someone who has done their research as to what is involved in caring for a pet is even better,” a member of the Ashburn Village Animal Hospital said.

However, all of that hardship can be avoided, if one just prepares prior to adopting. By giving an animal to someone else without them knowing, you are not only causing stress on the receiver, but also on the pet.

“Pets are scientifically proven to make people happier and to help keep them healthier by getting them outside more, lowering blood pressure, and giving them love,” a member of the Ashburn Village Animal Hospital.

You can get your puppy, kitty, or pet iguana for Christmas but make sure that you are prepared for the responsibility of taking care of your new pet.

“When you adopt a pet, not only are you helping that animal, you are also helping to make room for us to take in another needy animal at the shelter! The family benefits from an increase in activity in their lives – walking, playing fetch etc. They can help you make friends with neighbors and increase a sense of community,” Czap