Every year, I like to remind people that dogs and cats make terrible Christmas presents. If you plan on giving someone a puppy or a kitten, please make sure that they are already actively looking for one. A responsibility like that is a terrible surprise for someone that isn't truly looking to commit to taking care of one for the duration of their life.

Animals are totally cute and you may think you are really going to give your girlfriend or boyfriend an awesome gift by bringing them a surprise little bundle of joy. They may not be as keen on the idea as you are. There are tons of animals in shelters and being given away online by people that "just couldn't handle them" and the numbers increase dramatically after the holiday season ends.

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If you are looking to buy a pet for your child, remember that you are giving a live animal to a CHILD. If your child is not responsible or old enough to adequately take care of the animal, the care for them will fall on YOU, the parent.

There are plenty of people out there that would welcome the gift of a pet, but please ensure that if you are planning to give one away, you are giving it to someone that truly wants it and can care for it. It's heartbreaking to introduce an animal to a new family that ends up tossing it out like some kind of trash. Animals are a lifelong commitment, not a Christmas toy. Please use caution when giving one as a gift.

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