You want to rescue the adorable kitten or puppy. You want to shower that baby animal with affection and happy times during the holidays, especially if you adopted from a shelter, where s/he was homeless and waiting in a cage to be found and loved.
Please don’t do it.
The lights, noise and volumes of food and drink – and people – could severely stress a new pet. (It could do the same for an established pet, too.) Best to wait till early 2013 to adopt a pup or kitten, dog or cat. That’s when you can give the new family member proper, consistent attention and assure a good start.
Till then, you might visit the cat or dog and get to know each other, so that in a week or so, you can bring your new pet, by then an old friend, to a calm new home.
There are exceptions to all this, of course. If your family is child-free, you could probably go ahead and adopt. But holidays and kids, who are wired to begin with, and then wired besides, just don’t mix with new pets.
Sunday’s Mutts cartoon strip shows an old gentleman who brings home a dog in time for the holidays. In the last panel, the dog rests on his lap by the fire. Sweet.
Just as there are advice columns about how people might behave-to-survive at holiday office parties, there are also guidelines for keeping your pet healthy and happy during this party season.
One basic: Make sure there’s a quiet place in the house where your dog or cat can spend time – especially when you’re entertaining. People can easily become tall, loud threats to pets, and do worse than that if they also try to feed them.