Santa Paws and Santa Claws: Photos

'Tis the season to be silly so we thought we'd celebrate with some dog-gone cute photos of pets getting into the Christmas spirit. If you have a photo you'd like to add to our gallery, email stan.gorton@fairfaxmedia.com.au

There's nothing cuter than a puppy under the tree but families are being warned they are a gift for life not just for Christmas.

Animal welfare groups have issued the annual warning, urging people to be really sure before they give a pet as a gift.

Pet Insurance Australia has also added its weight to the push to decrease the number of unwanted puppies and kittens after Christmas.

"Pets should not be given as a surprise gift, unless the person is 100 per cent sure the animal is a wanted addition to the family," spokeswoman Nadia Crighton said.

And, if people want to commit to a pet for life and make it a Christmas present for their family, then they are being urged to consider adopting from the pound, the Animal Welfare League, RSPCA or other animal rehoming groups.

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