This Is Why Animals Shouldn’t Be Christmas Presents
Your animal companion’s love is a gift, but it’s not just for Christmas. Sadly, every year, countless animals who were given as presents are abandoned after the festivities – often just a few days into the new year.
Dogs, cats, and other animals are living beings with unique personalities, and they deserve the best lives possible. Animals aren’t toys and should never be given as gifts. These are just some of the many reasons why:
- Adopting an animal is a life-changing decision.
Adding an animal companion to the family is a huge decision. It means making the commitment to spending time with the animal and providing for his or her lifelong care. Throughout their lives, dogs, cats, and all other animals will need a lot from their guardians.
Food, veterinary care (such as spaying or neutering, flea treatment, deworming, and emergency care), supplies, toys, and sitters will need to be paid for. Animals will need to be looked after properly and may need to be walked and housetrained. They require ongoing emotional and financial commitments from their guardians – and they should be taken into a home that will treat them like family.Giving an animal as a Christmas gift means imposing a responsibility on your friend or family member that he or she might not be ready to take on.
- Children may not be ready.
Children may unintentionally harm animals, even breaking their fragile bones or causing other, sometimes fatal, injuries, when they think they’re playing. Puppies, kittens, rabbit kits, chicks, ducklings, and other young animals are especially vulnerable. They aren’t toys and can’t easily be “repaired” if harmed.
Children are often not mature enough to take on the responsibility of caring for an animal companion.
- Puppies and kittens received as presents are often left homeless after Christmas.
Many people end up turning animals they received as gifts over to overburdened shelters. The facilities are filled beyond capacity with homeless animals, many of whom are former “pets” who, for one reason or another, didn’t fit into someone’s lifestyle. Sometimes, unwanted animal companions are passed from one home to another or even abandoned on the side of the road.
Losing your home and being abandoned by your family is stressful, scary, and traumatising for anyone, whether you’re a human, dog, cat, or rabbit.
What You Can Do
Don’t ever give animals as gifts. If you know that your friends or family members are serious about adopting an animal and that they have the time, willingness, ability, and resources to care properly for their new companion and make that life-changing commitment, then make a trip to the local animal shelter together after Christmas and consider covering the adoption fee.
And please tell your loved ones never ever to buy animals from breeders. Breeders selling puppies, kittens, or other animals sentence many of those in shelters – whose hearts are filled with the hope of finding a loving family – to death by decreasing their chances of being adopted.
If you’re looking for animal-friendly gift inspo, why not check out our Christmas gift guide?