The holiday season is a time for joy, and few images evoke as much joy as the beaming face of a loved one when presented with a new puppy or kitten. Rightfully so, as anyone who has shared their life with a four-legged companion can tell you: pets change our lives for the better. Animal companionship provides us with friendship, laughter, love-- even benefits to our health and overall wellbeing. It’s no wonder that many people consider pets as holiday gifts for their loved ones. But is this a wise decision?
Over the years many animal welfare groups have discouraged the idea of giving pets as presents. I know, what a bunch of killjoys. But the truth is, these groups aren’t trying to scrooge with your holidays. Rather, we are all trying to ensure that every animal that finds a home this holiday season is entering an environment where they are prepared for and welcomed with open arms.
There is nothing more important to any reputable animal rescue group than making compatible, lifelong matches between people and pets. In fact, here at Bideawee, that concept is at the very core of our mission: to cultivate and support the lifelong relationships between pets and the people who love them. While some might find the adoption process excessive, these protocols are in place to ensure successful matches, and minimize the prospect of returning a pet, which can be incredibly traumatic for both the adopter, and the animal.
It’s important to remember, that while pets can provide a world of happiness to a family, they are also a big responsibility. The decision to adopt an animal is a serious one, and one that should be considered and discussed before the time comes.
That being said, preparation and discussion can make all the difference in the world. Research suggests that when these decisions are well thought out, animals given as gifts are less likely to be relinquished than dogs and cats that were spur of the moment or surprise decisions. If you want to present your loved one with a cuddly companion this holiday season, we’d suggest surprising them with a trip to an animal shelter, and bringing them face to face with their newest family member.
When in doubt, think of it like a marriage proposal: the day itself can be a surprise, so long as the desire to spend the rest of your lives together isn’t. For more information about Bideawee and the organization’s adoptable animals, please visit www.bideawee.org. Happy Holidays to all two and four-legged families.
Melissa Treuman is brand manager of marketing at Bideawee