Gray And White Pit Bull Lying In Grass Showing Paw
Getty Images/iStockphoto

It's that time of year again. We are all trying to find the perfect gift for our loved ones and I've already been seeing the posts on Facebook, "I really want to surprise my husband/wife/kids/parents with a new pet for Christmas." Let me go ahead and stop you right there...

An animal is a life long commitment. When you bring an animal home, there are a lot of responsibilities. Who's going to feed it? Who's going to give it fresh water every day? If it's a dog, who's going to take it out to potty at 2 am? If it's a cat, who's going to scoop the smelly litter box? If you're planning to get an animal for you child this holiday season, please ask yourself these questions. Chances are, once the excitement wears off, depending on the age of your child, you will be the one left caring for this animal. Are you ready to take on that responsibility? What about when Fido chews up your new shoes or Fluffy gets hair all over your best dress pants? Then what? Will you shuttle them off to the nearest animal rescue with some excuse like "My husband's allergic?" If you're thinking of gifting to your parents, do they really want this animal? Does it match their lifestyle? Would they rather pick out their own pet?

My point is simply this: Before you rush out and get a new animal as a Christmas gift for someone else, please give it careful consideration. If you decide that a new family pet is the way to go, please consider adopting from a local shelter or rescue organization, rather than buying from a pet store or 'breeder.'  Even purebred dogs, puppies, and kittens find their way into shelters.

More From WGBF-FM