Picking the Perfect Pet for a Christmas Present

Picking the Perfect Pet for a Christmas Present

When it comes to giving the gift of a new four-legged friend, the element of surprise should not be on your side. Choosing the right dog or cat can be overwhelming, but doing a little research can go long way.
But toys aren't always the only thing on kids Christmas lists, pets are often a popular present this time of year, and experts say there are a few things you should know before putting a bow on that new puppy or kitten.

When it comes to giving the gift of a new four-legged friend, the element of surprise should not be on your side.
   
"It's not a good idea to do it as a surprise because that person has to have been prepared to add an animal to their home," said Miranda Hay of the Humane Society of Sullivan County.
   
Choosing the right dog or cat can be overwhelming, but doing a little research can go long way.

"If you have a specific lifestyle, if your runner or a hiker, then there is a lot of great breeds out there that will be just as active and keep up with you. If you're if you're a couch potato a don't get out much you and you only want a small lapdog something in that something that you should probably look into the breeds," said Hay.

And while some say that giving a gift of an animal isn't the way to go, a new study by the ASPCA found that 96 percent pets that were once presents, never made their way back to a shelter.   

"Usually people are very sentimental about these animals that come into their lives. It is really a misconception that we shouldn't allow people to adopt as gifts around the holiday, as long as you put some thought into it and you make sure that you pick a particular breed it is going to fit your family," said Hay.

But if you don't find the right match the first time, official say don't give up.

"We have a very open adoption policy. If it doesn't work out we always want the animal to come back to us, and we can try to find something that might fit your family better the second time," said Hay

And look at shelters first before going to a breeder, because everyone deserves a home for the holidays.

"These are animals that are strays or abandoned or unwanted and as always I think better to adopt a rescue an animal. I think that the animals know that you have saved them and the love that in the respect that they give you back for that is tenfold," said Hay.

Officials say another thing to think about is the age of the pet.
   
While puppies may look cute, some people might not want to to potty train a dog in the snow all winter long.

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