Many Christmas gifts can be bought without much thought but there is one – buying a family dog or cat – that needs to be thought out carefully and planned.
Mary Ann Hollis, executive director of the Humane Society of Parkersburg, said the question of buying a cat or dog for Christmas is something that should not be done without a lot of thought on a number of factors.
“First, are you or your family ready for a commitment of 10 to 16 or 20 years,” she said. “There are also expenses to consider for veterinarian care, food, toys and other costs.”
Penny McDonald, a supervisor at the Humane Society of Parkersburg, holds Sparky, one of the dogs available for adoption at the shelter.
Hollis said the way a family celebrates Christmas should also be considered.
“If your family is active and if it is a hectic time, the dog or cat may be too stressed coming into that environment. If you have a lot of people around, the number of strangers could be a scary time for the new pet,” she said. “If your family celebration is more quiet, a dog or cat coming into your home will not feel as stressed.”
Hollis said the best thing to do may be to decide to buy a dog or cat and then wait. This will relieve stress for both the family and the new pet.