PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — If you’re trying to think of a Christmas present this year, a dog or cat may have crossed your mind but getting a pet is a commitment that lasts longer than Christmas and New Years.

Community Outreach Coordinator with Bay County Animal Services, Evelyn Temple, said it’s a lifetime commitment for that animal.

“So we need to make sure it’s a commitment the whole family has made together,” Temple said. “They pick an animal that’s good for their family, that will be involved in the extra stuff they do, is comfortable being at the home with their pets maybe and just make sure it’s a good fit for everybody.”

Temple said it can take around three months for a new pet to adjust from shelter life to home life.

“There is so much they have to learn and the whole family has to be a part of that on the same sheet of telling them, and training them, on what to do and what they can’t do,” Temple said.

If you’re thinking about giving a pet to someone, Temple said to think about the other person’s lifestyle.

“Our lifestyles are not always the same,” Temple said. “You might think that they’re sitting at home doing nothing but that person might be busy with doing outside activities or traveling and they’re not worried about having to take care of a pet or having to find boarding for that pet.”

Giving the gift of a pet can go beyond the excitement of Christmas morning.

“Training is a wonderful idea to do for the whole family,” Temple said. “Also going out on walks, you know people are kind of being stuck inside for the last year or so, so this is a good time for them to start going to parks, taking walks, going to areas that they can take their pet and spending more family time together.”

Temple said it’s important to not put too many expectations on yourself or your pet and to let the relationship happen naturally.

Bay County Animal Services and Cross Fit Panama City will hold an adoption event this Saturday at 661 Jackson Way, Panama City, Florida from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.