Your kids may want a puppy or kitten for Christmas this year. However, as a responsible parent, you know that getting your children a live pet for Christmas isn’t the best idea. Owning a pet takes work and requires responsibility. Everyone in the household must agree on the animal you get as well and the pet needs to fit in well with you and your children. If your kids want a puppy or kitten for Christmas this year, there are some creative things you can do to let your kids know that you will get them a pet – after the holidays. This will satisfy their desire to find a pet under the tree and you’ll feel good knowing you’ve done the responsible thing.
Stuffed Animals: Instead of putting a real, live pet under the tree, wrap up a stuffed kitty or puppy to give to your kids. If you have more than one child, you could get them each a stuffed animal. Have them open the presents containing the stuffed animals at the same time. Then, explain to them that you will take them to your local shelter the week after Christmas to adopt a cat or a dog.
Educate: Another alternative to giving pets as gifts is to get your children some books about pets. There are a lot of good books on the market, which describe dog and cat breeds in detail. You and your kids can look through the books and begin deciding which breed/s of cats or dogs would be best for your household. In addition, you could purchase books about pet care for your kids to put under the tree. Read through the books with your children and discuss the responsibilities of taking care of a pet before you get one. You can assign each one of your kids a different job to do for the pet you will adopt. For instance, if you get a cat, you could assign one child the task of cleaning and changing the litter and another child the task of giving the kitty food and fresh water each day.
One book you might want to consider purchasing for your children is the Ultimate Encyclopedia of Cats, Cat Breeds, and Cat Care, which may be purchased on Amazon for approximately $10.50. This book not only details each cat breed, it also helps you determine which cat will fit best in your environment. It also details cat care, the equipment you’ll need to care for a new kitty, and information on healthcare, grooming, training, and nutrition. If your kids want a dog, one book you may want to consider purchasing is The Complete Dog Book: 20th Edition, which may be found on Amazon for approximately $23. This book details 146 dog breeds accepted by the American Kennel Club. It also provides chapters on healthcare, grooming, and training.
Scavenger Hunt: Another alternative to giving live pets as gifts is to make a scavenger hunt for your kids. Put different clues on pieces of paper and hide them around the house, each clue leading to the next. Hand your kids the first clue. It might say, “I keep things cold.” Your kids will check the refrigerator and/or freezer, which is where the next clue should be waiting for them. The last clue should lead your kids to a picture or stuffed animal of a cat or dog or to a book educating them about pet breeds and/or pet care. Alternatively, the prize could be a gift certificate or card to your local pet shelter. Many pet shelters allow you to purchase gift certificate or cards that can be used to adopt pets. When they find their prize, tell them that you will take them to the shelter the week after Christmas to adopt a furry friend for your household.
Pet Supplies: Instead of putting a live pet under the tree this Christmas, you could purchase the items your new pet will need once he or she enters your home. For instance, if you are planning to get a dog, you can purchase and wrap a dog leash, collar, food and water bowls, food, grooming tools, toys, etc. If you are planning on getting a cat for your kids after the holidays, you can purchase and wrap a litter box, kitty litter, a collar, cat carrier, food, food and water bowls, grooming tools, toys, etc. As your kids unwrap the supplies, you can explain to them that you will take them to your local shelter to adopt a furry friend after the holidays.
If you are the parent of children who want a furry friend for Christmas this year, there are several alternatives to putting a live pet under the tree you can utilize. Doing this gives your kids something to look forward to after the holidays and makes you feel good knowing you have done the responsible thing. I encourage you to take your children to your local pet shelter to give a homeless cat or dog a forever home after Christmas.
Amazon: Ultimate Encyclopedia of Cats, Cat Breeds, and Cat Care:
Amazon: The Complete Dog Book: 20th Edition