10 Reasons Pets Make Bad Gifts
Lets Celebrate | November 1, 2017
Reputable Animal Shelters, Humane Societies, Rescue Groups, Animal Welfare Groups and Breeders Agree:
Pets Should Never Be Given as a Gift.
10. Abundance of Holiday Food Temptations
Holiday festivities often bring about an excess of food and snacks…everywhere. These temptations can be a danger if your new pet ingests something it should not. Foods, drinks and candy that humans enjoy can cause serious problems for pets including: vomiting, diarrhea, choking, obstructions and even death.
Visiting holiday guests enter and exit your home. This provides an undesirable opportunity for your pet to escape.
A new pet on the loose in a new neighborhood can be extremely
dangerous for the pet.
8. Safety Hazards
Decorations, tinsel, ornaments, wrapped and unwrapped gifts, lights with cords, candles, and poisonous holiday plants
all create dangerous safety hazards for a new pet.
Noisy toys, flashing cameras, large groups of people, loud holiday singing, gift unwrapping, doorbells, and general festivities can all cause unneeded, high levels of stress for a new pet. A new pet is going to experience some level of stress as it adjusts to new surroundings and people. Less chaos during this adjustment offers a greater level of long term success and bonding with a new pet.
There is a transition period with a new pet. This is the time when both pet and owner adjust to co-existing together and when initial challenges are identified and solved. Some new pets may bark, whine, chirp or prowl throughout the night. Housetrained pets may have “accidents”. The chaos of the holidays do not allow for this transitional period.
A routine is vital for a happy, well adjusted, healthy pet. Pets become aware of what to expect, when, and by whom. Studies have discovered that even goldfish recognize the person who regularly feeds them! A predictable, daily routine consisting of correction, expectation, exercise, feeding, grooming and attention will provide an environment where a pet will feel comfortable, safe and secure. The hustle and bustle of the holidays is anything but “routine”. The unpredictability will likely create confusion and possibly even anxiety for a new pet.
Children should never be unsupervised with any pet, regardless of the type of pet. A new pet is highly unpredictable and may be suffering from stress, trauma, and/or anxiety. It is imperative that during the transition period, and while the routine is being established, that a new pet is not left alone, or unsupervised with children. The demands of the busy holiday season create numerous distractions that compromise the ability for adults to adequately supervise a new pet and children.
3. Bad Behaviors
The best way to stop bad behaviors is BEFORE they begin. Once an undesirable behavior is established it is much more difficult to “undo”. The best way to ensure a new pet will not develop bad behaviors is to have the adequate amount of time to spend with a new pet, especially during the transition period and while establishing a routine. Barking, chewing, soiling, jumping, mouthing and other undesirable mischief can usually be deterred with consistent correction while the action is occurring. During the holidays, these unbecoming behaviors may be ignored or go unnoticed – establishing a future pattern of bad behavior. These undesirable behaviors can lead to the animal being surrendered to welfare organizations, or worse, euthanized because the owner no longer wants the misbehaved pet.
2. Growth, Maturity, Age & Health
Pets grow. They grow in size; they grow older. Different stages of their lives develop different needs. The amount of space required may increase dramatically; whether a goldfish, exotic pet, cat or dog. Grooming, cage cleaning, regular veterinary checkups and vaccinations, proper diet, adequate exercise and other pet-specific needs can become more expensive and demanding as the pet ages. An impulsive holiday purchase does not allow the proper amount of time to carefully think about the long term demands of a pet.
1. Commitment/Not Returnable
A new pet is not a toy, or a piece of clothing. After the holidays, a “new” pet is no longer “new” and, once the novelty has worn off, the reality of owning a pet is a long-term commitment. A pet is a living creature that needs structure, predictability and proper care. It must feel safe, secure and comfortable in order to thrive.