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December 01, 2020
It’s that time of year when the temperatures go down, holiday decorations pop up, and everyone is checking off lists left and right. One of your plans is likely a gift list for those near and dear to your heart. But, deciding what to get your friends and family for Christmas can be a daunting task. If someone close to you is an animal lover, you might be tempted to give him a pet, but are pets a good gift?
When it comes to gifting someone with a dog or cat, or some other type of animal, there are a lot of different factors to consider. So, before you buy that cute kitty or precious pup for your sister’s kids or your best friend, make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
There really isn't a straightforward yes or no answer to this question, at least not across the board. A pet is a very personal gift, and when you give someone a pet, you're also giving them a lot of responsibility. Therefore, whether to give someone a pet as a gift depends highly on the recipient.
Before you even think about giving someone a pet, ask yourself these questions first:
Even if all your answers to these questions point toward moving forward with your pet purchase, you still need to tread lightly. There is a right way and a wrong way to gift someone a pet.
If you are thinking about giving a pet as a gift, it’s best if you don’t make it a total surprise. In other words, the lucky recipient should be a part of the process. When you involve the giftee, this is the best way to ensure that you give him the exact pet he wants and that the pet will have a new forever home.
Therefore, talk with your friend and find out, first, if he is interested in having a pet. If so, what kind of pet does he want? Ideally, your friend should be a part of the pet-picking process to ensure he finds a suitable match for both his living arrangement and personality. Take your friend with you on your pet search, and let your friend choose his pet.
You might also consider getting your friend’s new pet a few necessary supplies too. If you get a new pup for your pal, you might include some basics like dog bowls, a dog bed, and a leash and collar. If your friend opts for a kitten, then your gift might include a litter box and scoop; you get the idea.
You can work out the details with your friend about how you will cover the costs, but the essential thing is, your friend knows the gift is coming. Therefore, he wants it, which means he will accept it willingly and with lots of appreciation and enthusiasm.
As previously mentioned, finding your friend the pet that makes the perfect match for him and his lifestyle involves your friend being a part of the process. You can then start your search on sites like petfinder.com or by contacting your local shelters or any specific rescue organizations that your friend is interested in.
After all, if you’re going to give your friend a pet, why not help an animal in need at the same time? If your pal wants a dog, and you decide to purchase his canine companion from a breeder, make sure you both take the time to find a reputable breeder with spotless references. Avoid puppy mills at all costs, no matter what kind of “deal” you think you are getting.
When making your final decision, ask lots of questions about the animal. Find out about the animal’s background, habits, any special needs or health issues, temperament, and other important facts and bits of information.
On the flip side of giving a pet as a gift being a good thing, it can also be a really, really bad idea. This is especially true if the gift recipient has NO idea you are about to give him a new pet. Even riskier is if you aren’t even sure if your friend wants the kind of pet you’re giving him
When people give pets as gifts as a complete surprise, this is one of the biggest reasons people return animals to shelters. You might think you’re doing a great thing, but the reality is, your friend is ill-prepared for a pet, not able or willing to handle the responsibility, or lacks the time and money to care for his new pet properly.
Therefore, if you haven’t discussed it with your friend first, no matter how much you want it to be a surprise, don’t give your friend a pet as a gift.
If you go against your better judgment and give your pal a pet, without his prior knowledge, he might seem really excited at first. And you never know, it all might work out just fine. But, more than likely, there will be some wrinkles in the plan, and it won’t go the way you hoped.
Therefore, if you do decide to surprise your friend with a new animal roomie, at least consider the possibility that your friend will return the pet. In this case, would you be willing to keep the animal yourself? At least this way, this animal that thought it was getting a home still is getting one, albeit not the one you originally intended.
In a nutshell, giving someone a pet as a gift can be a fantastic present if the person has a say in the process. Otherwise, it could be a bigger surprise than either of you bargained for. Want more great ideas and tips on everything pet-related? Check out the rest of our blog! We’re always adding fresh content about caring for your furry friends, so you can be the best pet parent (and gift-giver) that you can be!
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