Few can argue against the fact that pets bring so much love and joy to us year-round. So, it’s no surprise that people like to give them as pets during the holidays. But, the question is – should you?
While homing a pet can be wonderful for both the animal and persons involved, the fact is that there are many considerations that need to be made before you just give someone a pet as a gift. Let’s look at just some of the do’s and don’ts of gifting pets this holiday season.
Before you bring home a furry companion for your loved one without their knowledge, consider the following, as your good intentions have the potential to backfire:
- Don’t gift a pet on impulse. Remember, just because a friend or family member says that they want a pet doesn’t mean that they are ready for one. Caring for a pet is a huge commitment and one that the caregiver should be fully prepared and ready for.
- Don’t gift a pet to someone who’s on the fence about becoming a pet owner. If the person you’re wanting to gift to isn’t fully interested and invested in caring for a pet, then your setting everyone up for disappointment.
- Don’t gift a pet to someone in an apartment. Most apartments have certain pet restrictions that you, as the gift giver, may be unaware of. You must also consider that large pets, in particular, may not have enough room to fully thrive in a small apartment with no yard.
- Do let the person pick out their own pet. If your loved one really wants to bring home a pet, don’t just pick any one out for them; let them choose their own companion. You can still be a part of the process though. For example, you can take them to your local adoption shelter or to the pet store so that they can find the right fit for both the animal and themselves.
- Do use your best judgement. Ask yourself if the person you want to gift a pet to really has a serious interest in owning and caring for an animal. Are they responsible enough and have the necessary knowledge and resources readily available to care for an animal properly? Does the person’s lifestyle allow for the added care of a pet?
- Do consider gifting the coverage of adoption fees rather than an actual pet. This is a great way to still be involved in the decision to get a pet without fully inserting yourself into a major life decision.
- Do consider the pet’s future. Before anyone commits to owning a pet, you have to consider what will be best for the animal’s future and well-being, first. Will the owner be able to afford a pet? Can the owner even have a pet in their home? What happens if they move? Are all other family members or roommates comfortable with a pet in their home? What will happen to the pet if the owner can no longer provide care?
There’s much to consider before you gift someone a pet. Remember, animals aren’t toys that you can return. They have special needs and require constant care. So, please, don’t take this decision lightly. Base your decision on what will be best for the animal’s future as well as the potential owner’s.