Author’s Note: a repost from 2009 for Tis the Season.
The retail push is ON, and ads everywhere are enticing people to spend, spend, spend. Though buying gifts for people because we feel we must appears to be the norm at this time of year, one gift that should NOT ever be given to anyone is an animal.
Kids are especially influenced by friends or movies to ask Santa for a pet. In fact, the movie now classic holiday movie, Santa Buddies, features a puppy in a Santa hat, inside of a gift box saying “who doesn’t want a puppy for Christmas?” The answer is “NO ONE.”
DO NOT GIVE AN ANIMAL AS A GIFT!
Choosing a furry companion is as personal as buying underwear or shoes, so if you do decide this is the right time to get a family pet, make sure to take along the entire family. Once a choice is made, this includes introducingall existing animals to meet the prospective new addition. All humans might adore the selection, but should current pets not agree, another choice should be made.
First and foremost though, consider your lifestyle. How much time is available out of your day to devote to the new family member? How active are you? Who will walk the dog and for how long? Who will brush the cat and clean the box? If the new animal is for a child, is the child old enough to take on these responsibilities, and if they don’t keep their end of the bargain, are you prepared to step up? For instance, if you don’t want to brush your pet daily, don’t choose a long haired animal. Just one of many considerations to ponder when chosing a pet.
People normally choose an animal because they are drawn to a certain breed, or because it’s cute, but activity and energy level is important in the decision making process. For instance, if you lead a sedentary life you should steer clear of Brittany Spaniels, Dalmatians, Golden Retrievers, Jack Russell, Terriers, Australian Shepherds, and Samoyed’s. These breeds are NOT known for being child tolerant either. In general, working, racing, and hunting dogs require a lot of exercise and this is a key component when choosing a breed. And know that both the tiny Papillion and large Rottweiler require the same level of exercise, so big or small, each breed has different needs.
Do you have the income necessary to feed and care for your furry addition? A simple visit to the vet can add up to several hundred dollars. And if you have a baby after you’ve had your pet for a while, will you still have time? Are you or your children allergic to pet dander? These are all reasons given for turning in companion animals, so these issues should be given serious thought. Adopting an animal is a lifetime commitment and is not a decision that should be taken lightly and without thought and planning!
Once a choice is made and the new addition to your family has been decided, the Bach Flower Essence, Walnut, given to all family members, human and animal alike, will help ease stress and help adjust during the transition. Also, Changing Times, from Spirit Essences, is useful, as is Peacemaker. Bach Essences may be purchased at your local health food store or online at Bach Flowers . Spirit Essences are also available on line.
Lastly, if children are involved, contact Rockets Rangers, a Phoenix-based program that teaches children compassion and stewardship for companion and homeless animals, and arrange for Barb and Rocket to attend their school. Check out Rockets Rangers online.
Most importantly, do enjoy your new furry family member and here’s wishing everyone Peace, a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, and a safe and Happy New Year!
For more help choosing and then adopting a pet:
PACC911 for a list of Phoenix rescue groups and adoption events being held during the holidays
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control
Arizona Humane Society
If you would like to continue receiving Phoenix specific animal welfare articles, including the latest news, tips and advice, please click the Subscribe Icon. It’s free and anonymous. Thank you for reading and thank you for sharing this story with others.
Feel free to contact me at email@example.com with questions about any of my stories.