Animals are for life not just Christmas

Christmas is 'the most wonderful time of the year', but it isn't a wonderful time to add a new dog, cat, or other animal to the family.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 2:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th December 2018, 2:18 pm

That’s why it’s important to resist the temptation to give a living, breathing being as a “gift”.

Animal companions require plenty of time, attention, patience, and money – all of which are scarce during this season.

Adopting cats or dogs means making at least a 15-year commitment to love and care for them unconditionally. It also means finding an individual who is a good match for family members’ activity level, experience, abilities, and personalities.

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These aren’t decisions you can make for someone else. Many animals who were given as “gifts” are surrendered to shelters or dumped outdoors to die after the festive period, when the novelty wears off and families find themselves overwhelmed.

If you’re certain that your loved ones want an animal companion and are ready and able to provide one with a lifelong home, consider wrapping up a bowl, a bed, and a voucher for an adoption at a local shelter.

That way, the recipients can choose an individual who is a good fit for their personality and lifestyle – after the hectic Christmas season has passed.

Jennifer White