At some point during their childhood every boy or girl dreams of getting a real live puppy or kitten wearing a big red bow as a Christmas gift. Every year thousands of parents give into that dream never realizing the commitment and responsibility that giving a live pet entails.Christmas is the worst time of the year to give or receive a new pet. Animals require a lot of attention and care and during the holiday season many people just don’t have the time to spend getting a new animal acclimated to their household. Sadly, many of the pets given as Christmas gifts by well intentioned friends or family are left at animal shelters after the newness wears off. To prevent this from happening this holiday season consider giving your loved one who is dreaming of getting a real pet for Christmas one of these fun and thoughtful alternatives to live pets. All real pet alternatives are easy and inexpensive to care for, which makes them a great introduction to the responsibilities of pet ownership.
Five Fun Alternatives To Giving A Real Pet As A Christmas Gift
1. Perfect Petzzz
These cute, soft and furry pets look so lifelike you will swear they are the real thing. Each animal appears to be sleeping. They even have a battery operated mechanism that makes it look like they are breathing. Each pet comes with its own pet bed, a collar with tag, abrush to keep your pet well groomed, an adoption certificate, and a did you know card that contains facts about your pet. Prospective Perfect Petzzz owners can choose from 20 different dogs which include breeds such as the poodle, Alaskan Husky, Yorkie and even a mutt. Cat lovers can choose from four different kittens including a Siamese and two types of tabby cats. For the pet owner whose pet preference leans toward the exotic there are even wild animals to choose from such as an Arctic fox, panda and a baby gorilla. Each pet retails for $39.99 and comes with a lifetime warranty. Perfect Petzzz can be purchased online at www.perfectpetzzz.com and make a great alternative to giving a real pet as a gift for Christmas.
2. FurReal Friends
For pet lovers who like their pets active FurReal Friends has several types of interactive pretend pets that make wonderful alternatives to giving a real pet as a gift. There are pets that walk, pets that come with their own purse to carry them in, pets you can feed with a bottle and even pets that scurry around. All FurReal friends are interactive and move in some way and make the appropriate animal sounds just like the real thing. There are many different types of pets to choose from including cats, dogs, rabbits,
ducklings, piglets and even the more exotic like panda bears and parrots. FurReal Friends range in price from $7.99 to over $50.00. FurReal Friends are available online from Hasbro www.hasbro.com or you can find them in most large retail stores.
3. Virtual Pets
If the pet lover in your household also likes playing on the computer consider giving them a virtual pet as an alternative to a live pet this Christmas. There are many websites such as FooPets that let users adopt and care for virtual pets and even interact with other pets and their owners. On the FooPets website users can adopt either a dog or cat and learn how to care for their pet responsibly as they feed, water, pet, play and clean up after their pet in a safe online environment. Points or dollars are earned for various activities on the site and that money can be used to purchase food, services and accessories for the adopted pet. If the pet is not properly cared for it can become sick just like a real pet and have to spend time at the animal hospital or even rescued by a good Samaritan. A one month membership to FooPets can be purchased for $14.99 and a six month membership for $49.99. You can purchase a FooPet membership at www.foopets.com . Giving a FooPet membership as a Christmas present is an excellent way to provide the experience of owning a pet without giving a live animal and is an excellent way to prepare for the responsibility of owning the real thing.
4. Digital Pets
Interactive digital pets are a fun alternative to giving a live pet for Christmas. Digital pets allow the user or pet owner to care for and interact with a digital representation of a pet. Just as with a real pet the digital pet will have to be fed,loved and played with otherwise the pet will become ill until the user provides the type of care it needs. Littlest Pets Shop makes a line of digital pets that are very popular with kids and contain over 30 fun games to play as well as a digital pet to care for. Each digital pet is housed in colorful plastic case that depicts whatever pet is chosen. Digital pet choices include horses,iguanas, dogs, cat and monkeys to name a few. Each digital pet is approximately 2″ by 3″ and includes a clip that can be used to hang the pet on a back pack. Littlest Pet Shop Digital Pets are recommended for children 6 to 9 and retail for as low as $9.95 on Amazon www.amazon.com.
5. Volunteer At A Shelter or Animal Rescue
As an alternative to giving a real animal as a Christmas gift consider arranging for your loved one to give back by volunteering to care for abandoned animals at a local Animal Shelter or Pet Rescue. Many of these types of organizations are in constant need of volunteers to come in and help feed, clean up after and play with the pets waiting to be adopted. Not only will the recipient be helping a great cause they will also be able to experience the joy and responsibility of caring for a pet without actually owning an animal. For those considering adopting a pet volunteering at a shelter or rescue is a great way to learn about different types of animals and the responsibilities associated with pet ownership. To find a local Animal Shelter or Pet Rescue go www.petfinders.com and enter your zip code or look in a phone book for your area.
Pet ownership is not a decision to be taken lightly as it is a life long commitment to care for and love an animal. Before giving a live animal as a Christmas present, gift givers should consider giving an alternative to a live animal which allows the recipient to experience some of the responsibilities associated with caring for a real pet so that they can make an informed decision on whether to bring a real pet into their home.
Giving Pets As Gifts Better Homes and Gardens