'Tis the Season to Adopt a Pet

For many children, a new puppy or kitten under the tree is tops on their Christmas wish lists. But is it a good idea to adopt a pet for the holidays? Many animal shelters and organizations will not release pets for adoption right before Christmas despite a large inventory of animals waiting for a "forever" home. There are several guidelines for families to review before adopting.

Consider which type of dog suits your home. If you have small children, teeny fragile dogs like Chihuahuas are definitely not a good idea. Do both parents work? Then a large animal that has to be crated all day might not be best either. Temperament, breed and availability all need to be considerations too.

Sadly, in some places around the country, Chihuahuas are filling up spaces at humane societies and many experts say it is because of movies like "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" or celebrities such as Paris Hilton, who appear to treat these dogs like fashion accessories. Some veterinarians say these dogs are not suited to homes with children as they tend to be territorial, aggressive and can bite.

Should you decide that your child simply must have a pet this holiday, consider a rescue animal first. Reputable breeders generally will not sell dogs to pet stores, so consider that fact as well. A pet can bring great joy to a family, as long as it can be well cared for and loved. If you plan on adopting a pet, post a photo on our pet photo gallery page and share the magic of a new family member with all of us!