A puppy under christmas tree.

For some of us, the holidays make us feel warm, fuzzy, and completely in the mood for a cuddly new companion. For others, the holidays are a reminder of those we’ve lost. Nothing, we think, would be better than adopting a new pet to give all our love and attention to. 

But is adopting a pet for Christmas—or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or simply the winter solstice—a good idea? 

It all depends on the circumstances. Take a look at these pet adoption tips from the team at Sky Canyon Animal Hospital for help deciding. 

Responsible Pet Adoption during the Holidays

Before you head to your nearest animal shelter to meet your new best friend, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have room in my home for a pet? If you do, what size pet can you handle? What species? What temperament? Do you want an adventure-seeker or a pet to curl up with you on the couch? 
  • Can I financially support a pet? True, pets don’t cost quite as much as a kid’s college fund these days. But you do need to be prepared to set up a relationship with a veterinarian and take your pet in for regular wellness appointments. You’ll also need to buy food, grooming supplies, bedding, toys, treats, and other accessories. 
  • How much time can I devote to my pet? From midnight potty runs to evening walks, pets have needs that take up time. How much time do you have to lavish attention on your new friend? Do you have at least two hours’ worth of love, exercise, and social interaction to give your pet every day?

Once you’ve explored the answers to these questions, you’ll know more about whether or not now is the right time for you to bring home a new friend. 

And one last tip? Take it slow. You don’t necessarily have to wait days on end to make a decision, but you should take some time to get to know the pets at your shelter while you’re there. Ask the shelter team about each pet’s temperament

Spend one-on-one time with the dog or cat you feel a connection with. Find out if the animal gets along with other pets and children. Ask how many homes the pet has had, and what issues they have faced in the past. 

If you have a packed life full of childcare and chaos, you might want a calm dog with a relatively stable past. If you have lots of time, love, and attention to give a new pet, you might be able to work with a dog who’s been through a lot during her life. 

Take Your New Pet to the Vet 

Once you commit to bringing a new pet home, make an appointment with your local veterinarian. A wellness visit will help your vet establish a baseline level of care and give you someone to reach out to if you have any questions or concerns. 

If you live in the Murrieta, Temecula, or Menifee area, the team at Sky Canyon Animal Hospital can support you through the adoption process and beyond. All you have to do is request an appointment online to get started. 

We look forward to meeting you and your adopted fur-baby!