Adding a pet to any family should be a whole family decision. We know how irresistible it can be to want to give someone a puppy for the holidays, or their birthday. But resist the temptation, instead we suggest you give them a gift certificate for a pet. Like this the person who is getting the pet knows your intention but he or she is part of the decision making process. They can then choose to adopt or buy, what age, size, breed, etc. of pet they think will best suit their family. For more information on choosing a breeder follow this link, if you are thinking of adopting follow this link for tips on how to choose a shelter or rescue group.
When giving a child a gift certificate for a pet, always make sure the parents or care takers are involved in the process. No matter what was thought back in the day about teaching kids responsibility with a pet, the adults will be the main care takers of the pet so they must all want the pet.
We suggest you give the pet gift certificate during the holidays, but wait until the holidays are over to get the pet. Travel after the holidays is less stressful as the airlines and roads are less busy. This means the person receiving the pet can travel to meet breeders or shelters with more ease. You will also find that most of the very reputable breeders will not plan a litter of puppies or kittens for homing the week of Christmas. They know how crazy those weeks can be and are trying to home their puppies and kittens in the best and safest home possible. Puppies and kittens should be at least 8 weeks old and not a day younger before they leave their moms.
Another reason to wait until after the holidays is that the household goes back to a normal schedule. This means that the new pet will be less confused with people coming and going, and will adapt to their new home’s rules faster.
You also want to allow the person who will be receiving the pet to prepare their home. A new pet comes with lots of responsibility and things. Puppy proofing is important and it will include: pet gates that need installing, cables that need hiding, objects removed from certain spaces, etc. They will also need some basic things, things like a bed, bowls for food and water, etc. They will also want to enroll in a dog or puppy training class to start their new pup on the right track and most classes won’t start until after the holidays. For tips on how to care for a new dog read Dog care tips: part one and Dog care tips: part two.
So even though we all have a dream of waking up to a fluffy puppy on Christmas morning, the responsible thing to do is a pet gift certificate that allows for proper planning, ensuring a life-long home for that new pet.