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SURPRISE...It's a Puppy!

What Can Be More Fun Than a New Puppy for Christmas?

It can be tempting to give a cute, cuddly pet as a holiday gift. That precious purring kitty or tail-wagging puppy is delightful but comes with a commitment.

If you're thinking about giving a pet as a gift, the experts caution against the gift being a “surprise.” And you should probably only give a pet to a family member or very close friend – but again, not as a surprise - always ask the receiver first if they want a pet.

A surprise may feel more “fun,” but in the long run everyone -- whether they have two legs or four -- will be happier if you ask up front, and make sure they are up for this 10, 15, or 20-year commitment – emotionally and financially.

If they do agree to the idea, picking it out together can be fun, or if they agree to be “surprised” by what you give to them, here are a few great local places to find the perfect pet.

Five Acres Animal Shelter is a no-kill animal shelter located on Pralle Ln. in St. Charles. The mission of Five Acres is “to end pet homelessness, promote responsible pet ownership, and advocate for animal welfare.”

They do not euthanize the animals that come to them but strive to provide the best care possible to each animal while they await their forever home.

The majority of the animals come from private citizens who are unable to keep their pets for one reason or another, and the staff at Five Acres loves and cares for them until they find another family for them to join. They also work with local animal control facilities and other overcrowded shelters in Missouri and other parts of the country to transfer animals to Five Acres that face euthanasia.

Choosing a pet through the St Charles County Pet Adoption Center offers outstanding value. Their adoption fee includes a health examination, initial vaccinations, spay or neuter service, temperament education, a County License tag, and microchipping - services that are not always included when adopting elsewhere.

“Whether you're seeking a playful pup, a dynamic dog or a mature mutt, we have the right canine for your home,” says their website. The cost to adopt dogs or puppies is $60. 

There are also a few stray rescue non-profit organizations, such as Stray Paws Rescue, which protects and improves the lives of rescued animals and places them in loving permanent homes in the St. Louis Metro. 

What could be more fun than getting a cute new puppy as a gift? But as we all know, it’s all fun and games until the first “puppy incident.” VetStreet.com offers some great tips on caring for a new puppy.

Also, AnimalHumaneSociety.org offers a Pet Helpline where folks are standing by to help with advice and resources, at 952-HELP-PET (952-435-7738).

So take advantage of these, and other, resources to help keep your new pet happy and healthy and enjoying the holidays with you!

Here are some fun and unique holiday gift ideas for pets, pet owners, or animal lovers.

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