Pets and the Holidays: What to Ask Yourself Before You Adopt


When I am with friends who have very young children, I often remind them that the days may be long now, but the years are so very short.  With my children grown and off in different parts of the county, I can attest to this firsthand, and it's just as true when it comes to our four-legged children. 

When considering adopting a dog or cat, it is so important to spend the time to think through this life-changing commitment and make sure the whole family is on board. And it is especially important this time of year when the idea of bringing home a puppy or kitten as a gift for a loved one can seem like a dream come true.  For many people, it can be, but before making that decision, please keep the following in mind:

  1. Adopting a dog or cat is a commitment for their life, 12-18 plus years. Even when the days are long and frustrating. You made a commitment to give them a forever home, even when they’ve peed on your good rug or shredded your couch with their claws.  Our children have bad days. Our dogs and cats have bad days too.

  2. Adopting a dog or cat can be expensive. Are you prepared to spend what it takes on food, toys and veterinary care? Our pets are 100% dependent on us to keep them healthy and happy, and it's our responsibility as their family to budget for their needs.

  3. Adopting a dog or cat means a considerable time commitment from you. Do you and your family have adequate time to socialize, train, exercise, and play with your pet so they are less likely to become destructive and more likely to become healthy, happy, well-behaved companions?

  4. Adopting a dog or cat means that when they are old and needy and not as playful or fun, you are still there for them, loving them and nurturing them through their golden years. I have seen far too many senior animals abandoned at the precise time when they need love and care the most. When you make the decision to adopt, you understand that pets are not disposable; they are family.

If you have thought through all of the above and are ready to add a pet to your family this holiday season, then we encourage you to visit Bideawee or your local shelter and bring home your newest family member! There is nothing more special than the love and excitement of a new four-legged best friend.

And if you have given this thought and decided that the time is not quite right, but you still want to give back to pets in need, consider volunteering your time at your local shelter, becoming a foster parent, or donating much-needed items like blankets and toys.  You can also help by making a monetary donation or sponsoring a special-needs animal.  

Whatever your choice, there are countless ways to improve the lives of homeless animals this holiday season and we truly appreciate all of your support, especially this time of year.

As always, thank you for thinking of animals in need, and have a wonderful holiday!