What Do I Do If My Child Wants A Pet For Christmas?

· August 26, 2018
Most children naturally want a pet. However, as a parent, you to lay down some foundations so that this doesn't result in animal cruelty or abandonment. It's much more common than you think because people don't think about their lifestyle or the pet's needs.

When young children start showing curiosity for nature, especially for animals. Most likely your child may end up wanting a pet for Christmas. So, what should you do?

Things to Be Aware Of

It’s completely understandable that you want your child to be happy and to give him/her the things he/she want. However, you can’t let a temporal desire end up putting another living being in a situation of abuse.

It almost goes without saying that many pets end up being abandoned. It’s a sad truth due to the fact that people either lose interest or simply don’t have enough time to look after them.

Animals, just like us humans, are living beings with intelligence, language, and feelings. They need special care, depending on the breed, and they deserve to grow up happily and healthy. Making sure that they’re well looked after isn’t a decision, it’s a responsibility.

Clarification for Children: Dogs Aren’t Toys

For all the reasons above, it’s very important to have a conversation with your child and speak honestly about having a pet. They need to realize the amount of care that an animal needs, how much time they need, how long they’re likely to live, etc. At least your child will have the opportunity to understand that a pet isn’t a toy they can just throw away, or have as a hobby.

Boy taking dog for a walk after receiving a pet for Christmas

It’s also a good idea to take a good look at your own lifestyle before you give in to their request. When you bring an animal into the home, as an adult, you’re also taking responsibility for the animal’s care.

As much as your child might promise to look after a pet, they’re not capable of doing everything themselves. So, you’ll need to devote a certain amount of your own time and budget for the new addition to the household.

A Pet For Christmas: How to Choose?

One important thing to remember is that each animal is best suited to a certain space, lifestyle, climate, etc. Therefore, to make sure you choose the right pet for your household, it’s a good idea to consider the following:

  • Your child’s personality, not to mention the rest of your family’s personality.
  • The amount of free time each person has for looking after the pet.
  • The available space in your home.
  • Your expectations of your pet. Do you want a pet which is affectionate or more independent, active or calm, etc.?
  • If your child or another family member has an allergy, such as a breathing or skin problem, you should consider a hypoallergenic breed.
  • The climate where you live and how easily the animal will be able to adapt.

In general, dogs tend to be more depend on their owners. They need more time and need to be able to exercise, play, proper training and socializing.

A Few Differences Between Cats and Dogs

Cats are naturally more independent and can adapt more easily to smaller spaces. However, they require attention and stimulation to be remain physically and cognitively healthy. They can also be quite demanding when it comes to their food, hygiene, and socialization.

The right pet for your child doesn’t necessarily need to be a cat or a dog. If you don’t have a lot of space or you have a hectic schedule, maybe a smaller animal or an animal that requires less daily care might be better, such as a hamster or a tortoise.

Why Buy When You Can Adopt?

When animal life is treated as a sellable product, is bad for their health and development. Many animals have suffered physical and emotional harm in order to be fashionable, to be used in fights or for labor.

These “adaptations” to people’s preferences happen to Cocker Spaniels, Rottweilers, Dogo Argentinos, Dobermans, American Pitbulls, and many other breeds.

By adopting a pet, you’ll be doing a great deal to try to fight the innumerable abuses that take place in the purchasing and selling of animals. You’ll also be giving a second chance to one of the millions of animals that are abandoned and abused.

Adopting a pet might mean that some animals can experience the love and affection of a family for the first time. Not only that, adoption promotes conscience and respect for animal life. It’s a relationship of unconditional and mutual cooperation, just like any loving relationship should be.

So, instead of buying a pet, why not adopt a pet for Christmas? Adopted animals are just as capable of learning to give and receive affection like any other animal. Besides, they’ll be eternally grateful and will show your child a lot about life.