Home for the Holidays: Why New Pets and the Holidays Don’t Mix

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 like a dagger through your heart? If you’re one of those people who starts counting down the days to Christmas at the stroke of midnight on December 26, 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 the holidays will likely admit it’s the most hectic time of the year. Now imagine adding a new pet to all that craziness.

Let’s take a look at five reasons new pets and the holidays just don’t mix.  

Time is at a premium.

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. With time 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 bunny proof? To give her the calm and quiet she needs to acclimate to her new home?

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, finally got comfortable, and 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.

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 perfect Christmas present, right?

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

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

Pets are family members.

How many times 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. Giving a pet as a gift frames, whether it’s meant to or not, that animal as a possession rather than a treasured member of the family. And, people don’t think twice about “getting rid” of possessions, like they would with a family member, do they?

Reality bites (well, 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 the better. These are just a few reasons that adopting a new pet during the holidays isn't a good idea. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

Happy Holidays!