Puppies and kittens for Christmas—not a good idea


     There’s nothing more stressful to a young animal than to arrive in a new home smack dab in the middle of the holiday confusion and excitement.  For quite a few years, I managed a small pet store.  We specialized in purebred kittens.  Around Christmas, the owner would push the sale of them and offered to stay late on Christmas Eve so they could be picked up then.  I protested his zeal the first year I worked there and managed to get him to change his policy a bit.  We still sold the kittens but the new policy saved the babies from the stress of the holidays.

     I talked my boss into holding the Christmas gift kittens until after Christmas.  So what if they stayed with us a couple days longer?  Instead of taking the new pet home for the holidays, our customers would present their gifts to the intended people in a different way.  Some would buy all the needed supplies, wrap them, and put them under the tree with a note that the kitten would be theirs after the holidays.  Others would give the intended giftee a picture of their new pet to be along with a collar, or toy, or bag of food.  Most of our customers thought this a great idea when I explained how stressful arriving in a new home is on a normal day and was so much more so during the holidays.  In fact, they took great pleasure in buying twice as many things for the new pet to put under the tree for the giftee than they would normally buy.

     I managed to schedule pick up dates so we weren’t jammed with people on the same day too.  All of this saved the kittens the stress of being in a new home when stress and activity levels are off the scale.  They would enter their new homes when things were calm and they had time to acclimate to their new families.

     I know several dog breeders who have done this for many years.  Many of them refuse to allow a pet to leave their premises until after Christmas.  Reputable breeders will gladly hold the pups (or kittens) until after the holidays. 

     If you plan to give someone a pet for the holidays, spare the animal the stress, present the person with the pet’s supplies or a picture, and a note that their new companion is waiting for them.

About doggonedmysteries

Agented Mystery Writer, Bull Terrier owner--I have one at the present time, Avid gardener.

Posted on December 21, 2009, in Dog related, Holidays, My blog, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I would and could never give a pup or kitten as a gift at Christmas unless the pet was already born and in our household and was to be given to my own child (did that one time). That way both child and pet are already used to each other and the giving a mere formality.
    I can’t even go near a pet store anymore. I would just want to buy all of them and keep them from harm. And I know that would only perpetuate the puppy mills. Gads, another subject MW could get on a soapbox about. What was I thinkin? lol

  2. Good advice! Alot of puppies and kitties also end up in shelters after the holidays because this “gift” wasn’t well thought out. I can’t imagine the stress on the pet of coming into a household at the holidays.

  3. I totally agree with you and am delighted you were able to get through to the owner.
    I do have to mention the chuckle you gave me with the oh-so pragmatic canine philosophy.

  4. The only “live” gift I ever got was a dozen chicks on Easter when I was a child. Shortly there were only three left after the local strays had their fill. Not fun. Then we had them for dinner when they grew up. Yippee-Skippee wasn’t that fun?

    Yeah, I know, my parents were idiots.

  5. We had a duck once. When it was fully grown, we took it to our Grandfather’s farm to live. she lived a long and happy life there.

  6. er, about that duck . . . just joking 😉

  7. Oh, horrors Cuz! You mean our Grandpa and my Dad actually lied to us about Donnie? 😉

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