Pets for the Holidays? Good Or Bad idea?


On a sunny December afternoon Crystal Yoder was deciding if she should get a dog.The dog was Ritz, a playful white pitbull with brown spots at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.

“I’m not a fan of adopting for the holidays” she says, even though she was getting the dog close to the holidays.

Pet owners and experts have been debating if it’s good to get a pet as a gift or not. Though a surprise pet would be fun, it’s not fair to the animal, some people say, because the person receiving the animal may not like it and return it. Having a pet as a gift can be done responsibly if you prepare for the animal in ways such as researching and buying the right stuff for the animal, some pet experts say. It can be a good thing because during the holidays people may have time off to take care of the animal.

“At the end of the day if you don’t prepare its not fair to the animal” says Yoder.

Adoption Services Supervisor Will Rounds says adopting a pet for the holidays can be a good idea.

“It depends on the situation,” he says. “It’s a good idea to have the person who’s getting the pet to know about it and be involved and it’s a good idea for them to know how to take care of it. It would be a bad idea to get someone a surprise pet because they might not like it and return it.”

For instance, “one time someone wanted to get a surprise pet for their husband, but they both got each other a pet and ended up having to return one of the pets.”

Some tips Rounds offers for getting a pet for someone are getting information about the animal you’re adopting and coming in and visiting the animal and asking questions. Another great idea is to give someone a gift card for the animal at a local shelter, so they can take their time to choose the right animal. Another option is just waiting for another time to get an animal because getting a animal may be stressful for some people during the holidays.