To those who got a pet for Christmas,
I want to start off by saying I know how excited you are right now. Something that you've wished for has finally come true. You're living out everyone's dream of finding a new pet under the tree on Christmas morning. You can't contain your excitement when you see them under the tree, all in festive tiny bows. When you look at them, you can't even begin to fathom how something could be so small and cute. You think to yourself, I don't ever want them to grow up. I want them to stay this way forever. Your new pet looks at you with so much love and admiration. You vow to take care of your new friend and always love them.
But this will not be true for most pets given as Christmas presents.
I don't want to be a negative Nancy and put a damper on your happy moment, but it's true. Most pets, mainly dogs, given as Christmas gifts statistically end up in animal shelters. There could be a number of reasons for this, but mostly it is because people are unaware of what they have gotten themselves into. They give in to the begging and pleading eyes without doing research or even thinking comprehensively about what they're doing. This causes for many surprises along the way and people feel that they can no longer "cope" with their animal anymore.
Certain breeds of dogs and cats have special requirements specific to their breed and without prior knowledge; this becomes a shocking surprise along the way. Puppies and kittens won't stay little forever. Dogs especially will get bigger as time progresses and will need more room to roam and play than your home may allow. Pets also need training, they don't come biologically equipped with the knowledge of what to do when it comes to going to the bathroom outside or not chewing on your furniture. You need a great deal of patience and love to train animals.
I myself have pets and know everything above to be true. It breaks my heart when I see pets abandoned at shelters after Christmas. Animals love you unconditionally no matter who you are or what you've done. We should do the same for them in return. If you got a furry friend for Christmas, remember what I've told you. There will be times that you're so frustrated at them that you think you'll never be able to get through it. But you will and it will be so worth it. This was your furry friend's first Christmas, don't make it their last.
An animal lover