SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A pet may seem like a fun gift to give for Christmas this year, but there are a few things to consider before bringing a furry friend home for the holidays.

A new pet is a big responsibility, that’s why it’s important to make sure you are evaluating the commitment and are able to provide for the animal’s needs, including vet bills, food and other necessities.

If you’re thinking of gifting a pet for the holidays, there are a few things to think about before bringing them home.

“Animals are a wonderful addition to the family but they are a lot of responsibility so you just want to make sure your family is fully prepared,” Mackenzie Victor, marketing coordinator for Sioux Falls Area Humane Society said. “We do suggest that the parents  come for a meet and greet with the animals maybe before they bring the kids, just to make sure it’s a good fit.”

“It’s a long term commitment. Some animals can live to be 18-years-old, so just make sure you’re prepared to provide a home for them throughout their life,” Meghan McNeill, front office manager for Sioux Falls Area Humane Society, said.

The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society says it does see people returning pets after they’ve realized the extent of the responsibility.

“I wouldn’t say it happens right after the holidays but as time goes on and the puppy or animal starts to grow, it does become a little bit more of a responsibility, so maybe after a couple months or so the people realize they just weren’t ready for the animal or commitment,” Victor said. “So just make sure before you decide to get that furry friend that you are ready for it and ready for the time, responsibility and commitment.”

If you do decide that a pet is a good fit for your family this holiday, it’s important to make sure you have all the things you need.

“The financial responsibilities, there’s food, medical, there’s also a long term commitment of having the animal. The holidays are already stressful enough, so just bringing in a new animal and making sure that it all fits. So those are just a few of the things that can be tough around the holidays,” Victor said. 

If you are looking to adopt an animal, and already own pets, the humane society does require you bring in your current pets to meet the potential new animal to make sure its a good fit.