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Problems With Pets As Christmas Gifts

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Problems With Pets As Christmas Gifts

Christmas morning with a new pet under the tree sounds like a great surprise, but it might not be in the best interest of the animal.

White County Animal Shelter Manager Stephanie Smith said its a better idea to surprise someone with pet toys or books on caring for a pet. Smith said picking the right pet to become a part of the family should be based on bonding, not how cute it is.

“Meet the dogs and pick out the one that they bond with because with dogs, you can’t always pick them just by looks,” Smith said. “Sometimes the one that you least expect is the one that you’ll find is more attentive to you than the one you thought you wanted.”

Smith said a new pet will more than likely have just been removed from its family. She said throwing it into the excitement of Christmas day can overwhelm a pet.

“It would be way too much excitement and if it is a little puppy, they’re gonna be scared because they just left being with their mom and their litter mates,” Smith said. “Kids, they move onto the next gift quickly.”

Smith said having the whole family involved in the training is important to prepare for. She said it is especially important to make sure kids are prepared to be a part of training a pet.

“Dogs look at little people as part of their pack and they will try to be the alpha dog to the child,” Smith said. “They need to make sure that the child is the one that always feeds the dog and makes them sit, so that the dog understands that the little person is alpha to them.”

Smith said giving a pet as a gift is okay if a family waits to go through the process together, and looks after the new year. She said giving pet toys and books on care will help someone understand the responsibility a pet takes.


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