Think Twice Before Giving A Pet As A Gift

pet as a giftPets truly light up our lives with their cuteness, their antics, and their charm. It’s hard to imagine life without our furry best friends, and it’s understandable to want to spread that particular type of cheer during the holiday season. Besides, what could be more heartwarming than watching a loved one receive the gift of a new pet?

As it turns out, giving a pet as a gift may end up in heartbreak if the recipient isn’t prepared or doesn’t want a pet. Doing your homework in advance will help to prevent a sad situation, and may even help to create a happy new pet and pet owner.

Preparation Is Key When Giving A Pet As A Gift

No one wants to contribute to the three to five million dogs and cats relinquished to shelters each year, but many pets given as gifts are, sadly, returned each year for a variety of reasons. You can help prevent a tragedy like this from occurring by carefully laying the groundwork before giving a pet as a gift.

Ask yourself the following questions before committing to giving a pet as a gift:

  • Pet care can be expensive: the cost of food, medical care, etc., can add up. Does the recipient have the financial means to properly care for a pet?
  • Does the recipient have the time/energy/commitment level necessary to meet a pet’s physical and emotional needs?
  • If the recipient is a child, are there responsible adults willing to oversee and ultimately be responsible for pet care duties?
  • Does the recipient truly want a pet? Have the expressed considerable interest in pet ownership in the recent past?

Get Creative

Although surprising a loved one with a pet is a time honored tradition in our culture, it’s important to remember that a pet is not a sweater that can be tried on and returned if it doesn’t fit. For this reason, we recommend that your recipient picks out their own pet whenever possible. Although this cuts down on the element of surprise, there are plenty of ways to make it a fun and festive gift, for instance:

  • Purchase a gift certificate to a local shelter for the recipient and go together to pick out a pet.
  • Buy a stuffed dog or cat and present it along with a few pet care items, such as a leash, collar, carrier, and toys.
  • Gift the recipient with books on breed, training, or pet care tips.
  • Paying in advance for services such as the first wellness visit, spay/neuter procedure, or an obedience training class can make the transition go more smoothly.

Your partners in pet care at Heart Of Texas are always here to meet the needs of your pet. We hope you have a truly delightful holiday season!