Yes, a puppy under a tree on Christmas morning or a kitten in place of Hanukkah gelt sounds like fun, but what may not be as magical is what comes after. Remember that getting a pet is a huge decision and a big commitment. When you purchase or adopt a pet, you’re agreeing to care and provide for that animal for his entire life, even if he gets sick or you move or your lifestyle changes. We all know that there are far too many pets given up to shelters each year because they were acquired without forethought or serious intention. The average dog lives 10-13 years and the average cat lives 15. So just make sure you think about what you're getting into!
If you do decide to get a pet this holiday, why not adopt one from a shelter or rescue? Think about how awesome Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa could be not only for your human but for an animal longing for a real home! Thoughtfully and intentionally adopting an animal from a shelter doesn’t have to be any less exciting than putting a puppy or kitten under the holiday tree. You can wrap up the starter kit (leash, collar, bed, carrier, food, treats, toys, etc) and watch the joy of someone unwrapping it, knowing that she’ll get to pick out her own perfect pet! You get double the fun because the day you visit the shelter to select your pet, the gift keeps on giving! It's awesome! It deserves more exclamation points! You’ll also feel great knowing you gave a pet a second chance at happiness.
No matter where you get your pet, remember: preventative care is the best way to make sure he stays healthy -- regular maintenance on that little puppy can save you tons of money and heartache down the road, so get into good habits from the get-go, mmmkay??