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Considering adopting a pet for Christmas? Why new pets and the holidays don’t mix.

rabbit sitting on tinsel with christmas presents

With special thanks to Katherine Milligan

Jingle bells. Jingle bells. Jingle all the… Does the thought of the holiday season make your heart skip a beat in happy anticipation, or does it strike a fearful dread? Suppose you're one of those people who starts counting down the days to Christmas at the stroke of midnight on December 26. In that case, you're probably already well into planning this year’s celebration. But, the holidays can be incredibly stressful for some people. Even those who love this time of year will likely admit... it's crazy hectic. Now imagine adding a new pet to all of the craziness. Let’s look at five reasons that adopting a pet for Christmas isn't the most fabulous idea.

rabbit sitting in Santa hat


We're all busy all the time, right? But, that busyness leaps to a whole new level when the holidays roll around. Now, imagine adding a new pet to the mix. Time is already at a premium. When will you have time to bond with her and help her transition to her new home? When will you have time to house proof? To give her the calm and quiet she needs to acclimate to her new home? It's super important to think about these things.

Oh, Holiday Stress... Oh, Holiday Stress

Put yourself in your prospective new family member's fur. You lost your home who knows how long ago, found yourself in a shelter or a rescue around strange animals and people, and finally got comfortable. Now you're in a new place again. Sure, you have a comfy space, plenty of toys, and everything you need. But, it’s so loud, so busy, that all you want to do is hide in your box because you’re scared. It's just not a pawsitive situation for the pet when you’re adopting a pet for Christmas.

Guinea Pig sitting on pine cones and bells

Impulse Decisions Often Don't Work Out

Oh, those cute little faces at the animal shelter. Who can resist them any time of the year, but especially around the holiday season? A new pet would just be the proverbial red bow 🎀 on the purrfect Christmas present, right?

Unfortunately, many people who adopt a new pet for the holidays do so in the excitement of the moment. Unfortunately, an impulse decision can lead to panic after the holiday ends and reality sets in. That means shelters and rescues will see an influx of new homeless animals after the holidays.

Many rescues will not adopt animals out during the holiday season for that very reason. However, if you know someone who really wants a new pet, suggest contacting a shelter or a rescue after the holidays.  

We're all ears graphic

Pets Are Family Members

How often do we see TV, print, and online ads touting pets as the perfect holiday gift? Probably a whole lot more than we can remember, right? Think about that message. Gifting pets portrays them as a possession rather than a treasured family member, whether it's meant to or not. And, people don’t think twice about “getting rid” of possessions, like they would with a family member, do they?

rodent sniffing Christmas ornament

Reality Bites. (Sometimes.)

Advertisements paint bringing a new pet home as the perfect experience. But, the fact is, adopting a new pet is a big adjustment not just for the little furry one but for the entire family. It’s going to take time to get used to the adjustment, something you won’t have time for in the middle of the frantic holiday season.

Bringing a new pet home is so exciting, challenging, and life-changing - for everyone. We’ve listed just a few reasons that adopting a new pet during Christmas isn't a good idea, but we’d love to hear your thoughts. Email them to or share them on our socials.

DISCLAIMER: The links and information are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Small Pet Select of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual.

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