I Want to Surprise My Loved One with a Pet—Is it a Good Idea?

We’ve all seen those viral videos of someone being surprised with a pet on Christmas morning. While it sounds heartwarming, there are many reasons to think twice before giving someone a pet as a gift.

Is it the right time?

With kids out of school and extra days off work, the holidays can be a great time to transition a new pet into your family. However, for some people, the holidays may be filled with travel, houseguests and maybe just a little too much hustle and bustle, creating a stressful time to welcome a new furry friend into your home.

Is it the right pet?

The perfect pet for me is very different from the perfect pet for you. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Choosing a pet is a very personal decision and anyone responsible for caring for your new family member should be involved in selecting one.
  • Pets have their own unique personalities and preferences, just like people. Some are couch potatoes that want to hang out and watch movies with you, while others would be happiest accompanying you on your next adventure. We want to make sure the fit is right for both the person and the pet.
  • A surprise pet may not be the best idea if the recipient—whether it’s an older parent, significant other or child—is not ready or willing to take on the commitment of owning and caring for the animal throughout its lifetime.
  • Half the fun of adopting is coming to the shelter, together, to select the perfect pet. Walking through the kennels and meeting different animals is a vital part of the experience and will create memories that can be shared for a lifetime.

If you still really want to give someone a pet as a gift this holiday season, we have some alternative ideas to giving the actual pet as a gift. Stop by our Sit…Stay…Shop at our Quebec Street Shelter in Denver or Buddy Center in Castle Rock, and buy a gift card that can be used toward an adoption fee. While you’re there, you can buy pet supplies, toys and goodies to create a fun and exciting gift for your loved one to open. Other gift options include making a donation to the Dumb Friends League in honor of a special person or pet or purchasing our 2018 pet photo calendar. These gifts are sure to brighten anyone’s day—with the added bonus of helping homeless pets and horses!

When looking to add a new pet to your family, we encourage you to visit one of our shelters or visit our adoptions page to see all pets waiting to find a home for the holidays. All adoptions include spay/neuter surgery, age-appropriate vaccinations, a microchip ID and a free wellness visit to a participating veterinarian within 14 days of adoption.