I love pets, they become part of the family and bring so much joy to life. I would never discourage someone from getting or offering a best friend. But before you do, keep some things in mind.

If you are getting a pet for someone as a gift please make sure it is something they really truly want. Make sure that person is equipped to take care of the animal and mentally prepared for everything that comes with a puppy or kitten. Yes, they may scratch and chew things, they are basically unruly four legged children. Please, make sure that animals home is going to be a loving one with people that can take care of them.

If you are one that is going to get a puppy or kitten for the kids, please make sure that you are mentally prepared for this animal to be living in your home. So many people get puppies and kittens for Christmas and they end up back in the shelter because "they aren't cute puppies" anymore or "they are too much to handle". Everyone has their own reasons for taking a pet to the animal shelter, but take all things into consideration before you even bring it home.

Consider adopting from your local animal shelter rather than paying a bunch of money for a "pure breed". Mutts are the best dogs just looking for homes. The shelters are so full and you may even get yourself a pure bred.

Dogs, just like people, come with health issues. I am not one to judge if you can't afford to take care of massive medical bills for a pet, just remember it can happen and you may have to shovel out some money for your pet.

To animals, you are their entire lives. Puppies and kittens may not stay little forever but they will offer you so much love in your life if you let them. Remember, they are family and you are the world to them. Keep that in mind before you get one, the decision should not be easy or on a whim.