This holiday season, please remember that pets are a lifelong responsibility, not just a gift.
Not your lifetime, their lifetime.
When buying or adopting a pet (I love adopting a shelter pet, but your preference), you should take into consideration that you, as the owner, are inducting this pet into your family.
They will be there to witness your best times and your worst times, but they will love you all the same.
Pets can be stressful and at times irritating, but the rewards of loving one as your own child are endless.
You wouldn't throw your child in an orphanage just because they peed the bed or they're “too hyper."
Sure, you'd get angry if they destroyed that new, expensive present you recently bought for them, who wouldn't? However, you wouldn't put them up for adoption.
While young pets, like puppies or kittens, are so stinkin' adorable, cute, cuddly, and tiny, they also tend to be troublesome.
They still don't understand our world and the do's and don't's of it, they need your help to navigate it and they kindly ask that you please don't get aggravated with them.
Invest in training classes and positive reinforcements.
They don't know what they did wrong, they just know to stick with you.
In addition, it's no secret that baby animals do not stay babies forever! Like any living organism, they age and they're not able to do the things they used to do.
What did you expect? An immortal, all-knowing cat, dog, bird, mouse, etc.?
If you abandon your furry child when they're all grown up, they'll only get confused wondering why their family left them go when they needed you the most.
Take into account whether this animal will be cared for properly, who is providing the care, and who will step up to the plate if said person is unavailable.
The five-year-old most likely isn't going to step up to the plate as they said they would and the responsibility will fall to the adult.
Moving? Why would you move someplace that does not allow a member of your family to come with you?