One of the most popular gifts during the holiday season is a puppy or a kitten. Who wouldn’t want to have a warm, cute pet to play with? While pets might seem like a great gift idea, it is important to keep in mind that dogs and cats have needs. Therefore, before you decide to give a dog or cat as a gift to someone, here are a few things to consider.
Pets are a long-term commitment.
How long? For a domestic dog or cat, you are looking at a 10, 15, or even a 20 year commitment! Also, puppies and kittens go through various life stages, and their needs change with every stage. Be sure the recipient is willing to commit.
Pets have needs.
A dog or a cat requires food, water, shelter, training, grooming, health care, and lots of tender loving care constantly — unlike a bowling a ball or a big-screen TV. And you cannot just discard a pet like you would an old appliance (besides being cruel, abandoning a pet is against the law).
Ask before giving a pet as a gift.
Most of the time we know what type of gift a friend or family member would like to have. And if we don’t, we can always rely on cash, checks, or gift cards. But when it comes to giving a pet as a gift, it is always wise to ask first. The recipient may not want a pet, or be able to care for one. If you do ahead with giving a dog or cat as a present, ask the recipient what type of pet they would like to have. Also, find out if they have the time, energy, and resources to care for a pet.
Choose a pet from a pet adoption center.
If you do decide to give a pet as a gift, consider visiting your local pet adoption center. You can pay for the adoption fees in advance, and all your friend or family member has to do is visit the shelter and choose the pet. If the recipient decides not to adopt, your donation will go to a worthy cause. It’s a win-win situation.
In summary while giving a puppy or kitten as a gift for the holidays might sound like a good idea, it would be a better idea to consider some things before acting on it. Pets are a long-term commitment and require a lot of attention and care. Before giving a pet as a gift you might want to ask the recipient if they really want one, and while you’re at it, you might want to ask what type of pet they would like to have. If you are going to gift someone a pet, think about getting one from a local shelter. Better yet, pay the adoption fees ahead of time and let your friend or family member choose the pet. And remember, a gift is for everyone to enjoy – this includes the gift.