Soon it’s time again: Christmas is coming. Many people have been asking themselves for weeks what they should give to their loved ones this year. If the decision is difficult, it often ends up as just a spontaneous purchase. The choice falls fast on the wrong one. But an unwanted sweater the recipient can exchange easily – a pet not.
“An animal ties to its caregiver and suffers a change of ownership. It has to get used to a foreign environment and a new daily routine, which means considerable stress. Unlike a human, we can not explain why his life is suddenly turned upside down. If a pet has to change its owner several times, it can cause serious mental disorders, “explains Ute Possekel, deputy head of the Hannover Animal Shelter.
Unfortunately, many people find it difficult to resist glowing children’s eyes and give in to the desire for a pet without thinking. Also to pity purchases, we get carried away in the contemplative Christmas time experience faster. Often, dogs or cats are therefore bought prematurely – not infrequently to the chagrin of the animal.
Therefore, you should refrain from animal gifts
Without the necessary prior knowledge, the time and expense of pets is often underestimated. The puppy, who was cute at first, is not immediately housebroken or suddenly has to go to the vet – when the everyday life returns after the holidays, the animal soon becomes a burden.
“It’s mainly young dogs that are handed over to us in the first half of the year after Christmas. Based on age, it can be calculated that they are most likely “false” gifts, “revealed the 46-year-old, who has been working in animal welfare for over 20 years. “The dogs are then in the pubertal phase, know no limits, have not learned to stay alone and overwhelm the owner. Of course, the animals can not help that people did not inform themselves before buying and therefore could not properly raise them. ”
Children, in particular, often can not properly assess the duties of a pet. Especially with a surprise gift is also the possibility that the animal does not meet the expectations of the recipient. What follows is usually the delivery and the victims are the animals. Ute Possekel advises the future pet owner to choose the animal himself. “The chemistry has to be right,” she says. “In addition, some people also the appearance of the animal is important.” Surprise gifts are anything but a good idea.
This happens with the unpleasant gifts
After Christmas and New Year, many animal shelters have a veritable wave of returns. Also the shelter Hanover takes after the holidays more animals on overtaxed owners. For this reason, many animal shelters and pet stores have now introduced a placement and sale ban before and between the holidays. Unfortunately, many people expect to be able to get an animal from the shelter at any time. Many do not consider that detailed advice is necessary and that the animal member of the family must also suit them.
“The sad thing is that people do not think about purchasing. They just want to take the animal spontaneously, although we communicate that we do not mediate between the holidays. When we point out to them, they often react with incomprehension, “says the Deputy Tierheimleiterin. “I remember a particularly striking experience where a young man came straight to Christmas to fetch a cat for his girlfriend.”
In the worst case, the overstretched holders expose the unwanted four-legged friends, even if it is a criminal offense in Germany. In icy temperatures straight puppies, kittens and small animals have little chance, if they are not found in time. If they are lucky, the boulders land at the shelter Hannover and can hope for a new home there.
Spontaneous purchases are taboo in animals – inform you before purchasing
In order to avoid disappointment with all involved, you should inform you completely before the animal purchase. Do you already fulfill all the important requirements for dog ownership or can you really live up to a velvet paw?
Not only dogs and cats are among the animals that are gladly given away for Christmas. Even small animals, birds and exotic animals find their way under the Christmas tree more and more often. As gifts, however, they are just as inappropriate. Especially terrarium animals can be very demanding in their attitude: Therefore, find out before purchasing which terrarium animal is suitable for you at all. Even with animals that appear easy to care for, such as the tarantula, you should inform yourself about the keeping conditions.
Some kids want a budgerigar for Christmas – did you know that the pretty pet birds should never be kept alone and need at least one matching partner? Therefore, you should also deal with the basic conditions of species-appropriate bird-keeping in advance.
In addition, it is advisable to find out in advance whether your landlord permits animal husbandry at all. Because even if everything else is right, the objection of the landlord can ultimately cause a nasty surprise and the animal must go in the worst case anyway.
Animals as Christmas presents – that does not have to be!
Of course, a puppy that sits tail-wagging under the native Christmas tree is certainly cute. But you do not please the four-legged friend. Not only dogs, but also all other animals must first get used to their new home. For that they need above all peace and time. Between Christmas and New Year, however, there is a lot of commotion in most households. Guests come and go, there is always something to do – even if it does not go down, it will be too much for a puppy.
If you are really interested in a pet, there will be plenty of time left after the holidays. Of course, animals are on the wish lists of many children at the top. Parents should keep in mind, however, that children often can not even assess the responsibilities and responsibilities of an animal. Ute Possekel also points out that the interests of children can change quickly. “When children want animals, it’s often a short-lived thing, as with many children’s wishes. It should be the parents who buy the pet, “she says. “Of course there are children whose interest is sustainable and it’s great to be able to grow up with animals in a household. But one must always assume that the child will move out at some point or in the course of training, only little time is available. ”
However, the responsibility for the animal member of the family is borne for many years, in some cases even decades. Ultimately, therefore, the whole family must endorse the purchase and be ready to take care of the animal. “If this responsibility is not met, inevitably animal suffering,” says the Deputy Tierheimleiterin.
Alternatives to the animal under the Christmas tree
An alternative to the “living gift” can initially be appropriate literature on the subject. A donation to the municipal shelter is also a pet-friendly Christmas greeting. In addition, many animal shelters also offer animal sponsorships, where children can regularly take care of the care of a resident zoo. This is a good way to check whether the offspring is ready to take over even the more unpleasant tasks or whether he would be better advised with a cuddly toy.
Do you, your family and especially your future pet the favor and take your time for consideration in advance and for the subsequent purchase. Ute Possekel advises to tackle the whole thing as a kind of adoption: “The children should be involved in the preparations – which of course excludes the surprise gift. You should be present when selecting the animal and then take over part of the care. In this way, they not only learn to value life as such and strive to gain the attention of an animal, but also to give and share love and affection. In short, everything you need when dealing with people. ”
If you are preoccupied with the needs of the animal, you will avoid making wrong decisions, can ensure proper welfare and will enjoy your new family member for a long time. Even without it, it was sitting under the Christmas tree. We think Ute Possekel has put it particularly aptly: “An animal is a living being with feelings and needs. It should not be degraded to a commodity by giving it away “.