Why gifting a new pet for Christmas isn’t always the best idea.

Panama City, Fla. (WMBB) — Christmas is right around the corner which means parents are scrambling to get exactly what their child wants on their wish list.

Some of these lists may include a new pet. But are parents biting off more than they can chew?


There’s nothing better than watching a wagging tail under the Christmas tree. But people need to understand that bringing a pet into your home can not only be expensive, but also comes with years of commitment and responsibility.

At first I thought it seemed like a no-brainer to give someone a new puppy or kitten for Christmas.

“Nothing gets us more excited than seeing a puppy or kitten’s face light up,” said Bay County Animal Control Administrative Assistant Serena Junger.

However, within a few weeks, perhaps days, the novelty wears off, and the reality of caring for the animal sets in.

“Unlike a Tonka Truck or a baby doll, once they lose interest it gets set on the shelf, you don’t have to do that with a dog or a kitten. So now mom and dad can see it. are responsible for maintenance,” Junger said.

If you’ve already thought about these factors, there are many more for you to consider, such as which dog breed will suit your family and lifestyle.

“You have to make sure you get the right animal for you. So, if you get something like this, it’s very high energy. If you give it to a low energy family, it’s good. There will be no way,” said Bay County Animal Control animal care technician Paige Williams.

Maybe you’ll provide a perfect home for a new pet.

But is the time right? The Christmas holidays are full of house guests, travel and gatherings.

“There are also a lot of people who are looking to get rid of their animals for the holidays, whether they’re traveling or it’s just you know, the season is busy for them,” Junger said.

You should also consider the costs of owning a pet. There is food, toys and cat litter, pet bills and medicine.

Everyone needs to be on board before committing to a new family member.

“If you can check all these boxes, I have the time, I have the energy, I have the money, I know you if you can check all these boxes, then great somebody. Give away pets, you know, I mean, they make great gifts, but again, they’re a lifetime commitment,” Junger said.

Bay County Animal Control currently has 13 dogs and 5 cats available for adoption.

Junger recommends purchasing a certificate for a pet rather than buying a new one.

This will allow them to go to the shelter themselves and choose their new best friend.

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