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Check Out Do's And Don'ts For Holiday Adoption

Check Out Do's And Don'ts For Holiday Adoption

Many people love to give pets as gifts, but it's sometimes not always the right thing to do. Adopting a pet from the local animal shelter or humane society is an excellent way to help an animal in need. However, not all animals make great gifts. The following do's and don'ts will help you navigate this tricky situation.

Woman with 5 black dogs and a beige dog.

Before getting into what you should and not do, we want to point out the pros and cons of adopting a pet during the holidays. Let's start with the Pros:

  • Getting a new pet is a dream come true! What child doesn't dream to have a puppy or kitten?
  • Being on vacation will provide plenty of extra time at home, which will be much useful when getting to know and training the new pet. This will ease the transition of adoption.
  • Adopting a pet will provide him with a life full of happiness, joy, and love. You will also make more room for another needy animal at the shelter.
  • You will feel more fulfilled. Pet owners know this: living with pets brings us great joy.

On another (not so positive) side:

  • For people who decide to give animals as gifts: some shelters believe that they are more likely to be returned.
  • Gifting someone a pet comes with the risk of them not liking it. It may not be a good personality match…
  • Since some people travel a lot during the holidays, they may not have enough time to bond with and train their pets. For them, it is better to adopt a pet when everyone in the family is home.

Now that you know a few cons, we want to give tips on navigating them.

Pets are a lifelong commitment.

Before adopting a pet, consider that it will be a part of your family for many years to come. Depending on the size and breed, the average lifespan of a house cat is between 12-18 years. And the average dog lives for 10-15 years. Is this the temporary excitement of the holidays, or do you actually want this? You should think about this!

Don't Give the Pet during the Holiday Chaos.

Animals can become very nervous and anxious. This is particularly true when they're faced with a new situation, like a new home and family. And the holidays are a time of high expectations, stress, and excitement. 

It's a good idea to wait until after the holiday commotion has died down before you give the animal as a gift. Give the animal time to warm up and settle in.

Anxiety and Over-Reaction from Fear Formula for Dogs.



Don't Give an Exotic Pet as a Gift.

Exotic pets come with a lot of unique needs. They also come with risks. For example, turtles have salmonella and are a risky gift for small children. Birds are vulnerable to stress, loud noises, and change. They don't usually make great gifts.

Exotic animals can be unpredictable. They can bite you, putting you at risk of disease due to poisonous venom; They can escape, etc.

These animals might carry zoonotic diseases. This type of disease generally lives in animals but can be transferred to humans. These diseases can be difficult to treat, so they should not be exposed to the public.

Photo of exotic animals; snake, turtle, bird, guinea pig, and lizard...


Do Research Your Options

The humane society and animal shelters are packed with dogs and cats that need a home. If dogs and cats aren't what you're looking for, consider a guinea pig or other small rodent. Before adopting or giving away any animal, ensure the family members are not allergic. Cats, dogs, and guinea pigs can all cause an allergic action. You may want to introduce family members to the breed before you adopt.

Also, consider their size, temperament, age, and personality.

Woman allergic to cat with a cat on her arms.


Don't Wing It

Don't simply grab an animal; bring it home, and hope for the best. Animals need a variety of supplies and materials. 

Before adopting a pet, ensure you have all the products you need waiting for it at home. This requires preparation.

Dog on the table, with food and toys.


Do Shop and Stock Up

In the same line as the tip above, make sure that you buy food, bowls, supplies, and bedding for the pet you're giving as a gift. Each of the supplies can be wrapped up and given as gifts. You can use them to lead up to the final surprise gift. 

Dog inside a gift box.

Do Factor the Future Expenses

Pets are expensive. They require regular check-ups, vaccinations, food, and medications. They also need toys and grooming products like shampoo and flea preventative. It's not a one-time expense. Ensure that whoever you give the pet to can afford the future costs. 

Oral Health Gum Healing Formula for Cats.

Do Expect to Need Approval

Many animal shelters do not allow their animals to be given as pets. Anyone who owns or cares for the animal needs to be approved. Many animal shelters require home visits. Some require the entire family to come in and meet the animal and then sign an agreement. 

Illustration animal shelters.



Giving an adopted animal a gift is a beautiful way to help an animal in need. Be prepared. Do your research and choose the right one for your recipient. 

At the end of the day, whether or not you should adopt a cat or give a pet as a gift during the holidays is a personal choice. Simply make sure you take into account everything mentioned in this blog.

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