Do Pets Make Good Gifts?

You may think that it would be a great present to surprise a family member or a friend with a pet. But in reality this could be one of the worst gifts that you can give someone. Yes, the kitten is cute or the puppy is all wiggles, but does the person really want this pet. Is it the right pet? Picking a pet is a very personal decision. It should not be done by someone else.

Your gift may tie the person down with a time commitment that they aren’t interested in fulfilling.

A pet requires a lot of attention. They need to be fed, walked, and trained. When a person goes on vacation or travels, then arrangements must be made for the care of the pet. Having a pet is a long-term commitment. On average a dog can live 12 years, a cat for 15 years, and a larger bird for decades.

Your gift may saddle the person with a financial responsibility that they can’t support.

A pet requires food, visits to a vet, medicine, toys, and other supplies. A dog owner can spend on average $1500 annually and a cat owner about $1200 on average according to the American Pet Products Association. Maybe the person is not prepared to support this level of financial commitment.

Your gift may arrive at a time when the person is just not ready for a pet.

The person may still be mourning the death of a beloved pet and is just not ready for a new one. Maybe the person is getting ready for a new job or is thinking about moving. Each of us should be able to decide when and if we are ready for a pet.

Your gift may put the person in the position of relinquishing this unwanted pet at an animal shelter.

The pet may not be the right one for a number of reasons and could turn out to be unwanted. Depending on where you got the pet, the gift recipient may not be able to return it. If they can’t find another owner for the pet, then the pet may end up being placed in an animal shelter. It’s quite likely then that this pet will be euthanized, joining the fate of millions of other pets.

Bringing a pet into our home is life changing and something that should be our decision. A pet should not be a gift from a well-meaning friend or relative. If we do not connect with the pet emotionally, then we may be resentful toward the pet and not be able to fully love it. This would be unfortunate for both the person and the pet. A gift certificate which can be used for pet supplies, training, or boarding would be a much better gift, given after the person has brought his or her beloved new pet home.

Is There Anything Good About Skunks?

Isn’t it odd that while many people find skunks to be a nuisance and would like to get rid of them, they continue to be a cute little skunk to others? Many kids would jump at the chance to have their own pet skunk. Despite their odor, you may hear children crying “Oh, can I keep it?” and believe you me, they would do just about anything to have one as a pet. While skunks may be very cute, they are still wild animals and I would not recommend they be kept as pets. If your child loves skunks, you will want to stick with a tamer plush pet.

Many people would find it ridiculous, but these animals have a whole lot of advantages that you might like to think about. So next time you are wondering of how on earth you can rid your yard of that white striped animal, try thinking of how you may reap the benefits from their presence.

Did you know that they kill those pesky household rodents and insects? These mammals will help keep down the number of rodents like; mice, shrews, and moles around your house. Other animals they eat include frogs, snakes, and lizards.

The most commonly found skunk in the United States is about the size of a house cat. It has long black fur with 1 or 2 white stripes running down its back and tail. If you live in New Mexico, Texas or Arizona you may see the hog nosed or hooded skunk.

Skunks are active after dark, so you might not see any during the day even in areas where they are populated. They like to hide in protected places like in wood stacks, dens and burrows.They usually mate in January, with the female getting rather aggressive and spraying that smelly liquid as a defense mechanism to chase away the males. The mother skunk will then have up to 10 offspring in May or June. The new babies will remain hidden in the den for about 2 months and then they will begin following their mother out to hunt for food.

The problems between man and the animal come in when these animals start coming into human interests.This conflict really goes to new heights when the animal takes shelter inside homes spraying the home owners. Sometimes pets are sprayed with the smelly liquid during a confrontation. Sometimes the pet gets bitten. These animals can also be destructive to gardens and lawns through digging. They tend to uproot plants as they search for food and grub together with other insects. They are also known to eat the eggs of ground laying birds, this includes chicken eggs.

In California, they are rated the highest carriers of rabies, ticks and fleas. Rabies can be fatal to mammals including humans. So if you have found a family of skunks around your home, you need to know how to protect yourself and your pets.

If you don’t want skunks around then, discourage skunks from even considering to take up residence around your area.To make your yard less desirable to skunks, make sure you keep all pet food and garbage locked up then remove any hiding places. Since what attracts these animals in residential areas is food, water and hiding places, reducing or removing these items can deter them from coming in or taking up residence. Unused water bowls, pet food and covering garbage cans can be effective in reducing their presence.

There are humane ways to trap these animals if you feel they have become too much of a nuisance or are possibly putting your family in danger. The best way to protect or prepare for coming in contact with any wild animal is to educate yourself about that particular species.