As a child, I think I may have imagined finding a new puppy under the tree once or twice. Looking back, I am glad that never was the case. Why might that be so?
Normally we try to bring puppies or kittens home and slowly acclimate them to the new environment. Sometimes, however, the idea of letting a child find a kitten with a bow on her head seems amazingly sweet and we forget how frightening these experiences can be for a new companion! Christmastime is the absolute worst time to introduce a new pet to the family!
The sights, the smells, the sounds! We have visitors coming in and out, food everywhere, delicate decorations on trees, children screaming and running around, and so many other things going on that the animal is not allowed to get used to a new home before being bombarded with all of this.
Perhaps your child or partner has been wanting a pet for a very long time. I am not discouraging bringing in a new family member for Christmas altogether, but it would be best to go about this special gift differently. Instead, consider wrapping up gift certificates and pet products. A collar here, a pet food certificate here. Slowly they will put the pieces together and that “Aha!” moment can be almost as exciting, if not more so! Just think, instead of wrapping their arms around the new pet, they’ll pounce a hug on you! 😉
But for the sake of your new family member and to make sure you all get the pet that fits for you, please do not put a new pet under the tree this year. This not only gives them the chance for a slow initiation, but also for your family to sit down and discuss the new pet together.