Christmas Pets

As tempting as giving a pet at Christmas may be, it is the worst time to be adopting a pet. The time right after you've brought a pet home is an exciting, yet very busy time. Any new pet, whether it be young or old, needs time to adjust to its new environment, and so do you! New pets need extra attention, care and even training at first, so please wait until after the hectic holiday season to adopt.

Not only are the holidays a bad time to bring a new pet into your home, pets should never be given as gifts. Pets are not inanimate objects; they are members of the family. Adopting an animal involves a serious, long-term emotional and financial commitment, and the decision to adopt an animal is one that people have to make for themselves. Animals shouldn't be treated as holiday trinkets. Many animal shelters suspend adoptions prior to the holidays to reduce the chance of an animal being given as a gift and to make sure the new pet is the central focus of the family rather than just another toy.

When the holiday season comes around, people tend to forget that there is a 10 to 20 year commitment involved in caring for a companion animal. Animals come with big responsibilities, and the person receiving them might not be prepared to provide for the animal's care. Pets can end up being relinquished to animal shelters due to a person's lack of time or financial resources. Many animal shelters experience an increase in pets being brought back or new homeless pets after the holidays, due to the "giving season."

Those of you who already have pets should be aware of the household dangers associated with the holidays. Pets can eat tinsel and ribbon and chew electric cords, which could end in serious illness or death. Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants can be poisonous to animals, and aspirin used as a preservative in Christmas tree water can be fatal to cats who drink it. Some Christmas trees may be seen as climbable by your cat, yet may not be stable enough to hold the extra weight.

The Central Dakota Humane Society wishes everybody a happy and healthy holiday season. Don't forget your furry family members during the busy season - they love getting presents, hugs, kisses and tons of love during the holidays too!

In keeping with adoption guidelines set forth by the Humane Society of the United States, the Central Dakota Humane Society does not allow animals to be adopted as gifts to unsuspecting caretakers. It is also our policy not to adopt any animals into new homes the week prior to Christmas. It is a busy, stressful time to add a family member. Please consider waiting until after the hectic holiday season to acquire a new pet and instead give books or videos on pet care, collars, leashes, gift certificates for pet-care items, or for small children, a "stuffed animal." Your new friend will thank you for it