Interested in Adopting a Pet for Someone Else During the Holidays? Bad Idea! Here’s Why…

Thinking of adopting a pet for SOMEONE ELSE during the holidays? Here is some advice for you as the holidays grow near.

An animal should never be a surprise because they change the household completely – not temporarily, but forever.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you know if this person or family is willing to put forth the time and effort it takes to care for, and train a new furry friend? Adopted pets need time to adjust to their new environment. Things are never a ‘walk in the park’ in the beginning!
  • Will they have the time to set-up, and work on a consistent routine?
  • With all of the gift-giving, can they afford the necessities? (i.e. medical care, food, litter/litter boxes, leashes, etc.)
  • Do they have the energy to take them for regular, daily walks or clean up any messes they may have left in the house?
  • Will they be in the right “frame-of-mind” to keep their cool if the new arrival does something they disapprove of?

If the recipient is not prepared for this, the animal will end up in a shelter. It’s a fact. Pets are not just a “fun experience;” they are a complete lifestyle change.

After asking yourself these questions, and realizing how much work goes into having a new pet around the house, do you really want to put this pressure on someone else?

Don’t do it, it’s a bad idea!

If a family wants a dog, let them make the decision – let them do the research, so they can meet the dog prior to taking them home, just to make sure it’s a good fit.


On another note, if YOU are interested in adopting a pet for YOURSELF and you feel it’s the perfect time, wonderful! Many pets are looking for their forever homes!

Here’s some advice for you:

Don’t purchase puppies from pet stores or off Craigslist…Even if they give you the “look,” or have a cute picture!

  • The majority of pet stores get their pets from something called “Puppy Mills.” A puppy mill, sometimes known as a puppy farm, is a commercial dog breeding facility that finds profits much more important than the humane treatment of the animals.
  • They will breed the dogs as much possible so that they can make a profit. After the puppies are born, they are sold to pet stores and the pet stores then sell them to you at a ridiculous price.
  • Not only does this lead to a lot of inbreeding and suffering, but it also causes a lot of innate issues within the puppies. More often than not, the puppies that are sold at stores will have complications like allergies, bad hips, or behavioral problems such as compulsive barking or chewing, that I guarantee you will not want to deal with!

As for Craigslist: would you buy a child off of Craigslist? It’s the same thing. They are living-beings that you will have for a long time.

  • You will always want to meet them first, to make sure it’s a good fit. Once the purchase on Craigslist is done, it’s done. No meeting, no interaction. Who knows what their history was like, if they’ve been spayed or neutered, how their previous owner treated them, or what kinds of behavioral / medical issues the may have?
  • They should be healthy, fully vaccinated, and have very few issues – Many ad’s claim this, but are not able to prove it, or simply fake it.
  • Many times, what you see on the internet, is not at all what you get.
  • Craigslist puppies are also often puppy mill supporters. Please don’t support them, just don’t do it – it’s really a bad idea.

Support your local animal shelters. If you live in the Washington State area, you can find many local animal rescue organizations on my blog. Otherwise, it’s super easy to find them in your area!

Reasons for adopting from an animal shelter:

  • They will match you with a dog they feel is a good fit for you.
  • The dogs have been well-adjusted, and cared-for, in a foster home or shelter.
  • They will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated and vet-checked, so you will know right away if they have any medical issues. If they do have medical issues, they will guide you on how to handle them appropriately.

Here are a few Google search ideas for you:

  • “Animal shelters in _________ state”
  • “Purebred animal shelters __________ state”
  • “Golden Retriever/German Shepard/Pug… rescue organizations “City”

Websites, such as Pet Finder, Humane Society or APSCA  are also a great resources to find shelters near you:

Final Thoughts:

  • Don’t purchase a pet for someone else! Let them make that decision.
  • Don’t support puppy mills or Craigslist sells.
  • If you are looking for a new addition, do your research and educate yourself so you end up with a happy, healthy pup, that’s a great fit for you.
  • There are thousands of animal rescue organizations that take in homeless pets. Support them.

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