Don’t give animals as Christmas gifts!
A year is drawing to a close, the Christmas eve is approaching, and among the sparkling and shimmering gastronomic variety you pick up gifts for your family and friends again. What if this year you have come to the unusual decision - to give a living pet instead of the traditional Christmas gifts? Children may have long been dreaming about a cat or a dog, or you have found that pet will brighten up life of the elderly person familiar to you.
In your opinion the appearance of living thing in the house will make your child more independent and caring, breaks of the habit of useless sitting at the computer or TV. And the need for regular grooming and walking will make him less selfish.
Remember the plots of popular movies, where the animals given as gifts, have become best friends, comforted in difficult moments, united families, protected against danger or saved from bad company.
Thus a cat or a dog – is a perfect gift for the Christmas!
But does it really so? Let us lay the beautiful cinematic scenes aside and think over the events, which are likely to occur after opening of your gift.
Only a part of «Christmas gifts» goes through the celebration successfully.
Christmas Eve – is time of preparations, meeting guests and a noisy, overnight feast. The appearance of a "new" family member in such a tumultuous period will take the family by surprise. From the first minutes, as the excitement from the friendly furry lump on the arms subsides, the problems will unexpectedly come upon. Pet, being not used to, will huddle up in the secluded, inaccessible places, and later, having adapted, will be in the owners’ way, making them to stumble and drop the items on every step. Suddenly, the floor will be covered with puddles and bumps, with someone certainly being got into them. Being inexperienced, no one will try to protect a pet against dangers, associated with the Christmas tree. But every person at the table will indispensably share the most delicious morsel, making the animal to suffer from overeating, or to go through its first poisoning.
Let’s assume, everything has worked well, and your pet, having eaten, fell asleep in a secluded corner. Think it is time to relax? No, the clock has struck twelve and Christmas has come! The sky will have lit up with bright flashes of light and the neighborhood has shuddered from thunder of firecrackers. The hosts with guests will rush out to the street to contribute to the overall madness. Would anyone remember where the gifted pet is, what happens to him?
However, this would be the best outcome. The real trouble is, if a child, out of ignorance, will take the "gift" outside as well. No one will remember about the collar with address, and a leash is not yet at hand, as nobody counted on the living surprise. A further outcome is predetermined – even adult person may not afford to hold the frightened scratching animal.
Statistics is relentless on this score - pets, escaped during the Christmas, generally not to come back. 5 to 7 million animals flood up kennels in the major cities each year, and only 20% of them are taken by new owners or safely returned to the old ones.
It is a pity that the child, which this gift was prepared for, will not even regret about this loss, as the interaction time was so short in time.
Toys, which has been played through.
You are aware that 80% of Christmas gifts – are useless trinkets, which after holidays are being removed to the attics and storage rooms’ shelves, chocked up the garbage cans. Pet, presented in a colorful package, will be inevitably perceived as an inanimate object, as a thing or a toy, which after playing, can be easily forgotten, thrown out outdoors or given to another person. In general, children are prone to lose the novelty of sensations from the presented items rapidly; they are not characterized by long-term focus on the same object. By the Christmas ending the living gift will not be the same desirable and lovely, as it was at the beginning. The gifted animal will be suffering from loss of attention.
Remember the story about Carlson and the little boy. Of course, according to the plot, the long-awaited puppy was not presented for the Christmas, but if you delve in the further events, the kid’s interest about the puppy was subsided after the first few days of complete admiration. Subsequently, the puppy was left in the care of Madame Frekenbok, which gave her preference to the cats in the face of her favorite Matilda. And while the kid had fun with Carlson, in his attempt to punish the mischievous housekeeper and angry woman, puppy has had to adjust to the unpleasant cat’s company.
After having been played enough, the unexpected living gift, in most cases, is passed into someone’s good hands - friends, familiar people, more predisposed to live together with pets. Be prepared that your gift, under any pretence, will be tried to be brought back to you.
If the gift recipient is a naughty and spoiled child, the situation can become much more complex – pet will be given away and turned back at every small request, like plush toy, without considering the emotions and state of the animal.
If people, willing to take away, were not found, "gifts" are brought to the nearby kennel, to be called for more compassionate owners. If there is no any kennel exists in a city, the option is much easier – to take the animal outside the city and place it stealthily in someone's yard, or to leave alone at the roadside in a hope the others will pick it up.
Choice, which was wrong.
Choosing a living gift, ask yourself how well you are aware of the needs and demands of the future owner? Is your choice of breed, color, size and gender correct? Independent selection of a pet – is the most horrible and cruel mistake.
The pet’s breed can be too aggressive or, conversely, very fragile to a child. Perhaps it will be appeal to the kid, but completely not satisfy the parents.
A great danger on the Christmas Eve fuss is to buy a puppy or kitten from the unscrupulous breeders, for whom Christmas holidays is a period of mass breeding and easy profits on animals. Such earning plan increases the risk of purchasing a pet with genetic or physiological abnormalities at times. Even with a proper care pet with congenital disease will make owners become frequent visitors of veterinary clinics, bring about the unreasonable costs, and will become a strong blow to the child, if its treatment eventually fails.
On the other hand, in spite of many troubles, living creatures give a lot of pleasure, joyful, rememberable moments. They are able to make anyone happy.
You may safely give a living gift, without reflecting on the consequences, if:
- A potential gift recipient has long been dreaming about pet and openly asks you about it.
- Family, which is intended for a gift, was getting along with pets well earlier and it has some experience in pets’ handling.
- There are non-working adults in the family that can help in animal’s care, when the child is busy or unable to cope.
- The budget of the future owners is sufficient enough for keeping a pet, and living conditions are suitable to take it in.
- You have learned in advance about the tastes and preferences with regard to breed, discussed gender and color, made sure that the rest of the family does not mind a pet appearance and they are prepared for the upcoming cares.
- You have talked to breeders, asked their advice, chose the professional among them and assessed the general state of his litter.
The next step - you go to buy a living gift together with the gift recipient, for that person will be able to pick out a pet independently, according to his/her own predilections. Or the owner should be chosen by a pet; pet should come up and make the contact first, as in this case the commitment will be mutual.
Hopefully this article will help you to assess the situation correctly, and your forethought present will make both feel happy. Remember, pets are people too.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!