A Home For the Holidays: What To Know About Holiday Pet Adoption

There’s no greater gift that a shelter pet can receive than a loving home. And a new bundle of joy is an exciting experience to have over the holidays. However, holiday pet adoption should also be entered into thoughtfully, especially since holiday excitement and emotion can enter into holiday pet adoption decisions. 

Keep reading for some things to think about when it comes to holiday pet adoption, from your friends at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates

The Basics Of Pet Adoption

All in all, holiday pet adoption should not be that dissimilar to pet adoption at any time of the year. In every case, there are several things to think about before committing to a pet. 

Many species of pet live upwards of 15-20 years, so it’s no small commitment you are entering into. Unless you play an integral role within the family, you won’t know what kind of pet fits in best. And the sad reality is that after the holidays, many pets given as gifts are rehomed, abandoned, or end up back in the shelter.

The best way to avoid this within your own family is to hold a family meeting, and thoroughly talk about what pet ownership means to all of you. Consider: 

Living situation. Do you own, or rent? If renting, will your landlord agree to a pet? Do you have ample outdoor space?

Lifestyle. Are you home during the day, or are you at work all day long? Do you have time to walk or run a dog, groom a pet, or play with a cat daily?

Financial means. Pet care is a financial commitment as well. Food, toys, treats, bedding, leashes, and veterinary care should all be factored into your decision. 

Make sure you do your research when it comes to proper care and necessary equipment. Also look into species and breed characteristics to find the perfect pet match for your family. We see many different species and breeds daily, and are experts in breed characteristics. Ask us if you need any guidance!

Adopting a Pet For the Holidays

After you’ve explored your reasoning, and all family members are on board, remember that adopting a pet is extremely personal. Each pet is different and an individual. It’s important to match a pet with her new person carefully. Here are some tips:

If the new owner will be a child, know that the ASPCA recommends waiting until children are 10 -13 years old before they are ready for the responsibility of a pet. Regardless of age, an adult in the household needs to be fully committed to caring for the pet in the event that the child does not. Children should not be expected to take on full ownership responsibility (such as driving the pet to the veterinarian).

Adopting a puppy or a kitten may be exciting, but baby animals are a lot of work as well. The holiday season is already brimming with activity, so consider adding a baby pet to the family at another time of year. Adult animals have fully formed personalities, and often come to shelters with some history, so they can be more perfectly matched to their new pet parents. 

Shelters are overflowing this time of year with beautiful, healthy, and often purebred pets just waiting for their forever homes. If you are getting a new pet, consider the shelter or a rescue organization. You’ll be saving a life, and the unconditional love you will feel from a rescued pet is priceless. 

Should You, Or Shouldn’t You… Holiday Pet Adoption

The holidays can be a stressful time, and our lives are often filled with travel, parties, and visiting relatives. Pets, no matter their age or personality, take time to get acclimated to a new home. A busy holiday season may be a stressful time to take on a new pet, if your schedule is already packed. Additionally, homes are usually adorned with holiday decorations, plants, and foods that may not be pet friendly

Instead, consider waiting a couple of weeks until the holiday hustle and bustle has subsided, and you can bring your new pet home to a calmer environment. 

Another great way to enter into pet ownership is to foster a pet before committing. Your family will get to experience the joys of pet ownership, and a pet will have a respite from shelter living. We think it’s a win-win

If you have any questions about holiday pet adoption, please give us a call