Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Giving a pet as a Holiday gift? Outer Banks SPCA

Winter Holiday’s are a wonderful time of the year for people. The visits from friends and family, decorating the tree, last minute shopping and bustle of the holidays in general combine to get everyone in the holiday spirit. It is after all, the season to be merry!

Introducing a new animal into a household during the turbulent holiday season is an invitation for trouble. Homes are decorated with poisonous plants, lit candles, electrical cords and fragile ornaments, all of which are definitely not pet friendly. In addition, routines are set aside in favor of rounds of parties, visiting relatives, doors being left open as people come and go, candy and goodies.

To a new pet arriving in a household during the holidays, away from its litter mates for the first time, surrounded by strangers, noise and confusion, the excitement and cheer will be strange and frightening, causing a young animal to become quite confused and scared. And, is there really time for housebreaking a new puppy? In most households, the answer would be “no’.

The acquisition of an animal companion, young or old, should be thought out carefully by the person who will accept the responsibility of guardianship. Unless you play an integral role within the family, you won’t know what kind of animal would fit in best with the family’s daily routine. 

With some forethought and a sincere commitment, pets can be a wonderful gift to give your family or friends. A family meeting should be held so that all members can openly express their likes and dislikes regarding pets. In addition, discussing who will take on what chores ahead of time and when will make things easier and help to guarantee the successful integration of a new pet in the household.

The holidays are simply not a good time to give an animal as a gift.
If you truly have your heart set on sharing the gift of love by giving a companion animal this holiday season think about putting a substitute plush toy, pet care book, or a homemade gift certificate under the tree. Once the holiday chaos is over, you can escort the family to the Outer Banks SPCA-Dare County Animal Shelter to select their furr-ever friend.

Denise A. Lambiotte, 
Dare County Animal Control, Outer Banks SPCA

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