Thinking of giving a new pet for Christmas? - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Thinking of giving a new pet for Christmas?

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ATLANTA -

A pet might seem like the perfect gift for Christmas, but there are several things one should consider before opening you home up to an animal for their forever home.

The tableau of a puppy with a big red bow under the Christmas tree as the first light creeps through the window may seem picture perfect, but many shelters take issue with it. That is because they tend to see those same sweet pups brought back a month or so later when the realities of having a pet set in.

Christmas is a busy time for adoptions at animal shelters. Many of the dogs at the Georgia SPCA were being held for pick up foe Christmas Eve.

The director told FOX 5's Krista Littlefield that as much as the dogs and cats need forever homes, they don't want to see those same animals abandoned or returned after the honeymoon is over. Their shelter is looking for a 10-year commitment from the family for dogs and 20 for those families looking to adopt a cat.

And the adoption fee is not the only thing cost. There are also vet visits and vaccinations which can run hundreds of dollars with the average cost around $400 a year. Then there are the monthly heartworm treatments and flea preventions not to mention food, grooming, and toys. It may run a pet owner thousands of dollars annually.

So, no matter how well intended the gift, it is the recipient who will end up paying. Of course, the love received from a new pet is priceless.

Many animal shelters sell gift certificates to those who want to give pets. It will allow the person to go to the shelter and make sure their new friend is a perfect match.

And don't forget to check out our Good Day Pet segment every weekday morning during Good Day Atlanta. If you missed any, visit the Good Day Pet archive on myfoxatlanta.com.

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