Pets are not gifts. They are a lifetime commitment.

As we gear up for Christmas festivities, the idea of handing over a bundle of fur might sound like a holly jolly idea. But gifting a pet is no fleeting fancy, it’s a commitment that goes far beyond merry celebrations.

It might be tempting to surprise someone, especially kids, with a kitten or bunny adorned with a bow. But keep in mind that pets are not accessories or decorations. They’re alive, with unique personalities, and they require time and affection. They are not temporary sources of joy but lifelong companions that deserve thoughtful consideration before bringing them into a new home.

When you buy on impulse or give a pet to an unknowing person, they may not be ready to handle the responsibilities that come with it. Even though receiving a gift might seem “free” at first, taking care of pets can be expensive over their lifetime. There needs to be a budget allotted just for them. From vet visits to toys, pets certainly know how to run up a tab!

Plus, the holiday season is not such an easy time for pets. Big crowds at family gatherings can be a source of stress for them. Introducing a pet to a new home with festivities happening around is overwhelming enough. There’s just too many distractions and new pets require a lot of care. They need time to settle in their new surroundings, preferably without the hustle and bustle of socialising.

Rather than surprising your family or friend with a pet out of nowhere, it’s better to talk to them about it first. Committing to a pet is a lifelong promise, best made personally and not on behalf of another. Welcoming a pet into the family is a deeply personal experience. It’s ideal to approach this with careful planning and with the recipients involved!

When the festive cheer fades away

Once the initial excitement of having a new pet wears off, it’s the commitment that keeps the bond going strong between pets and their humans. Feeding, cleaning up, and the occasional mess stops being a hassle and turns into these acts of love and responsibility. Sadly, this is not always the case.

Some enjoy having a pet only for a short period of time. After a while, they abandon it by giving it away or leaving it at a shelter. Don’t add to these dreadful statistics! Abandoned pets flood animal shelters, stretching their capacity and resources. This puts a huge strain on their system, making it challenging to help other animals in need.

Having pets is a commitment to their well-being, happiness, and care for their lifetime. It’s a joy to come home to wagging tails, but let’s not forget this also means responsibilities that last even after the festivities are over.

Our furry friends deserve nothing less. They are not gifts, and they deserve love, family, and a forever home.