Fantasy vs. Reality: Are the holidays the right time to bring home a new pet?

Pets are a serious commitment. If you are considering gifting a pet for the holidays, here are a few things to consider:

  • Pets are a lifelong commitment. The average lifespan of a house cat is between 12-18 years, and the average dog can live 10-15 years, depending on size and breed. The excitement of the holidays may be temporary, but an adopted pet is sure to be a part of the family for many years to come.

  • It may seem like never-ending poop and destruction. If you’re considering adopting a puppy or kitten, remember this: they’re babies. They’ll need to be potty-trained. They’ll need constant supervision. They’ll need to be forgiven when they tear up or destroy your personal posessions. And they’ll need positive reinforcement to help them learn their manners and grow into adult pets.

  • Surprising the family with a new pet? Consider whether or not a “surprise” is the best way to introduce a new pet into your home. Have you had a serious discussion with the rest of the household about the responsibilities of pet ownership? Snuggles and playtime are just one half of owning a dog or cat. Pets also require regular vet care, exercise, grooming, kitty litter cleaning, yard poop pick up, obedience training, and more.

  • Research is key: if you have seriously discussed adopting a new pet, be sure you’ve done your research about the kind of animal that would be a good fit. Consider their size, personality, age, and temperament with other people and pets. Are you looking for a calm small-breed senior dog who would get along with your other pets? Or are you ready to bring home a couple rambunctious kittens who will look to you to teach them boundaries?

Adopting a pet should never be an impulsive decision.

A new pet not only requires time but money: Pets require food, supplies, and vet care. With a dog, training classes may also be necessary. It can get expensive.

If you are certain this IS the right time for a new pet, we hope you will come to the San Antonio Humane Society to find the newest member of your family.

However, if you have doubts about the timing, we urge you to consider doing some research regarding the breed you are interested in adopting so that you are prepared when it is the RIGHT time to pick out the RIGHT pet.

And if you do want to do something this holiday season to help the homeless dogs and cats of San Antonio, please consider making a donation to the San Antonio Humane Society.

Holiday Card PupsCat

General Care

Allergies in Pets!
Moving With Your Pet
Pet Theft Prevention
Preparing Your Pet For Baby's Arrival
Successful Cleaning to Remove Pet Odors and Stains
To Spay or Neuter
Travel Tips
Territorial Marking Behavior In Dogs And Cats
Unusual Eating Habits In Dogs And Cats
Vaccination Guidelines
Quality of Life to the End of Life (By Alice E. Villalobos, D.V.M., DPNAP)

All Pet Care Tips (PDF files only unless otherwise indicated) are Copyright 2000, to Denver Dumb Friends League and Humane Society of the United States. All rights reserved.