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Pets are not always good holiday gifts

Many children have hopes of finding the puppy or kitten of their dreams under the tree on Christmas morning, but responsible pet owners should avoid giving a pet as a gift unless it is extremely well thought out, pet experts say.

The Stafford County Sun reports that may animal professionals try to dissuade people from giving pets as holiday gifts because the decision is usually made in the moment as a novelty. Once the novelty wears off, animal rescue shelters find themselves taking in more residents after January.

Even if a loved one has been yearning for a furry companion, for the good of the person and the animal, the gift giver should consider a gift certificate to a pet store or animal shelter in lieu of an actual animal, the Houston Chronicle reports. This way, they can do research into what breed is best for them and welcome the animal into their lives when they have time to train, socialize and play with it.

That said, the holidays can be a good time to welcome a puppy or kitten, since many people have time off from work or school around the holidays and there are plenty of relatives with which to socialize it and offer it new experiences. If planning on getting a new pet for the holidays, the preparation and selection process should be lengthy and thoughtful. 
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