Did you adopt your current companion animal or did someone else in your home adopt the animal for you? Were you given a companion animal by a friend or relative?
Sometimes how we come to be living with a companion animal affects our relationship with that animal. We may not be as invested in his or her welfare and day-to-day care if we did not actively seek out the animal. We may be less bonded if a housemate or friend brings an animal into our home for us to share.
To reduce the number of animals abandoned at animal shelters or simply given away, we need to be completely honest in why we are obtaining a companion animal. If we are obtaining an animal for ourselves, we are more likely to commit to the animal for his or her lifetime. However, if we find a puppy underneath the Christmas tree or receive a kitten as a birthday present, chances are we will not form the bonds that last forever.
Therefore, buying animals as gifts is usually not a good idea. If you have a friend, relative, or significant other who you think wants a companion animal, let that person know you will pay the adoption fee and even buy some toys and bedding for the animal. But, let that person select the animal who is best for him or her. And if the person does not want an animal, please, do not think by bringing in a cute little furry creature, he or she will relent. The animal always loses in that sort of situation and may wind up back in the shelter, or worse, put outdoors to fend for him or herself. Because, when you think about it…animals as gifts are not a good idea.