Avoid surprise factor when giving a pet | Families
It's that time of the year when we are searching for the perfect gift to give someone special. The Hawaiian Humane Society wants to remind you that animals should not be given to someone as a surprise gift.
"We encourage people to think twice before surprising someone with a pet," said Tasha Tanimoto, public relations coordinator of the Hawaiian Humane Society. "Without a family's unanimous agreement, there is a concern that the recipient may not be ready to make a lifelong commitment."
Sharing your home with a pet should be a well-thought out personal decision, not a surprise. Everyone in the family should be aware of how a pet will affect their lives. Plan a family meeting to discuss it thoroughly and divide up the responsibilities of caring for a new pet. Before making a decision, here are some things to consider:
- What type of pet would best suit the family? Families that travel frequently or work long hours may want to choose a less demanding pet such as rodents or fish. People that spend more time at home could add a new dimension to the family dynamics by adding a cat or dog.
- Is the pet age-appropriate for all family members? For kids between age 5 and 10, rodents or fish are a great way to teach proper pet care techniques and responsibility. Dogs, cats, rabbits and birds may be more appropriate for older children and teens.
- Have you added up the cost of pet care? In addition to the initial adoption or purchase fee, think about the cost of owning a pet thorughout his lifetime. Quality food, toys, health care and other necessities add up over time. Certain reeds are prone to potential health ailments, and guardians should be aware of the possible costs.
- Do you know what is involved in caring for the animal? Potential pet guardians should study the habits and requirements of their new family member that is being considered. This research may reveal new information that may not be ideal for the family.
- Is the family committed? Caring for an animal companion lasts a lifetime. A healthy cat can live up to 20 years. Certain breeds of pet birds can live as long as humans. Families must be prepared to love and care for their pet for their lifetime.
If you really want to surprise someone with a new pet, purchase a gift certificate from the Hawaiian Humane Society. Available in any amount, the certificate can be used to pay for an adoption fee or to purchase pet supplies and toys. The gift certificate can still be a wonderful surprise, yet it allows the freedom to choose the right pet at the right time.
Another great stocking stuffer is the Hawaiian Humane Society's 2013 Pets in Paradise calendar. At just $10 each, all proceeds benefit the Hawaiian Humane Society's programs and services.