'Tis the season for giving gifts of all shapes and sizes. We've all heard the proverbial phrase that - 'it's the thought that counts'. But, that's not necessarily true of all gifts to be given.

Pets, for example, are often given as gifts by well-meaning gift-givers. Who among us couldn't imagine the joy of seeing a big red bow attached to an adorable puppy on Christmas morning? However, unless it's Mom and Dad doing the giving, it could be a huge mistake for everyone involved, including the pet.

Is It a Good Idea to Give Someone a Pet for Christmas?

Animal experts almost universally agree, that giving someone a pet as a Christmas gift can potentially be a terrible idea. If little Suzie wants a puppy for Christmas, and Mom and Dad have carefully considered if their household, and little Suzy, are prepared to make a commitment to their new puppy, it might just turn out to be the best Christmas gift ever. That's the best-case scenario. However, unless this lifelong commitment has been entirely thought through, major bumps in the road lie ahead.

When Should You Not Give a Pet as a Christmas Gift?

Basically, anytime that the primary caregivers of the animal are not informed about the new addition to the family ahead of time, is the wrong time to add a pet to the family. The decision to adopt a living, breathing, being into your family should not be an emotional decision. It should be carefully and dispassionately considered before the commitment is made. Your Uncle Charlie may well love dogs, but he may love them from afar. Is Uncle Charlie ready to care for and feed and love this new furry friend? If not, you'll be saving yourself, Uncle Charlie, and most innocently the pet, from disappointment by getting him socks and underwear instead.

Where Can You Adopt a Dog or Cat in Yakima?

There are multiple options available. I'll focus on one of them here, and that is the Yakima Humane Society. I had the pleasure of serving on the Board of Directors for 10 years at YHS. There are plenty of dogs and cats available for adoption right now, all of whom deserve to have a forever home, perhaps, yours. Contact them when you're ready to adopt. In the meantime, mark your calendar for the 'Paws for Claws' Crab Feed on January 29th, 2022. Details at yakimahumane.org.

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