The holiday season often brings a desire to spread joy and love, sometimes by gifting pets. While the intention behind such gifts is almost always positive, it’s essential to understand the responsibilities and challenges of this decision.
Take, for instance, the experience of Michael “Pudge” Aradillas, a familiar voice from KSIX-AM/FM’s “The Halftime Report with Pudge.” Aradillas shares a personal story about how his father unexpectedly gifted a dog to his daughter. With just 15 minutes’ notice, his family welcomed Buddy, who soon became an integral part of their lives for 15 years. “When you get a dog, that’s a lifetime commitment,” Aradillas remarks, highlighting the long-term responsibility accompanying the joy of receiving a pet.
However, not every surprise pet gift is a positive experience. Jackie McCollough, the marketing & development director for Gulf Coast Humane Society, advocates for removing the element of surprise when gifting pets. Her experience suggests that an unexpected pet can sometimes be a poor fit for a family. “There could be a variety of reasons why that pet is not a good fit for your family,” McCullough explains, emphasizing the importance of finding a pet that suits one’s lifestyle and household.
Aradillas and McCollough recommend involving the entire family, including other pets, in selecting a new animal companion. This approach ensures that the pet is a good match for everyone involved. Aradillas advises making a day out of visiting the shelter to find the perfect pet, provided “everybody likes the pet just as much as the pet likes you.”
If you receive a pet as a surprise this holiday season, McCollough advises giving it about three months to adjust to its new home. This period is crucial for the pet and the family to adapt and understand if the new arrangement is suitable.
In conclusion, while gifting pets can bring immeasurable joy and create lasting memories, it’s vital to approach this decision with thoughtfulness and consideration for its long-term commitment. Involving the whole family in the process, understanding the responsibilities of pet ownership, and giving the new pet time to adjust are vital factors in ensuring a harmonious and loving relationship between the pet and its new family.