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Holiday Gifts: Pets
Pets are wonderful. They cheer you up when you are down, keep you laughing, and love you no matter what. There is very little more heartwarming than seeing a child who has fallen asleep curled up next to a puppy. Pets are a very common gift for children at holidays. Puppies and kittens at Christmas, baby ducks, chicks and bunnies at Easter and so forth. What child's eyes wouldn't light up at the sight of a brand new baby animal to hold and hug? The promises to love, feed and take care of the new additions to the family flow like water.
The critters are soft, warm and fuzzy gifts for certain but, and it's a big but, they all grow up and in just a few short weeks are no longer cute little puppies but big romping barking dogs, the cuddly little kittens have turned into large aloof cats. The baby ducks and chicks are no longer soft and fuzzy, but big, noisy and messy, and those two bunnies, Fred and George turned out to be Fred and Georgia! Pets are a long term commitment and buying a pet as a gift should be a well planned and thought out move not a spur of the moment decision based on emotional reaction. If you are honestly thinking of getting someone a pet for the holidays (even if it is not for a child) be sure it is something you would do even if there were no holiday involved. Make sure the gift fits. If the primary responsibility of caring for the animal is going to fall to a young child you don't want to get a dog that will quickly grow to the size of a small pony which the child wouldn't be capable of handling.
You might also want to make sure you expose your child to other people's pets for decent lengths of time before buying a pet, so if by chance they have allergic reactions to animals you will know before you bring one home for them to fall in love with. This will also give you the time to convince them that they would really prefer a turtle, lizard or something else that doesn't have dander. Keep in mind those animals, like babies, cost money way above and beyond the purchase price. Food, leashes, food, collars, food and water bowls, training supplies, food, toys, vet bills, food, licenses and tags, and more food! There is a great deal of time that has to be invested in most any pet and the holidays are not always a good time to be doing that. The hustle and excitement of a houseful of friends and family may not be the ideal setting for a new puppy, kitten, or any other young animal. A better idea might be to cut out a picture of the pet you have in mind and put that in a card and make sure the child understands that as soon as the holidays have passed and things have gone back to a normal relaxed state they can help pick out the newest member of the family. .
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