Although you may be tempted to give your friend the gift of a furry friend this year, keep in mind that they don’t always make the best presents. Living creatures do not make good gifts for a variety of reasons, and here is our team’s advice:
#1: Adopting a pet is a personal decision
Picking out the perfect gift for anyone can be tough. Imagine trying to choose a living, breathing animal with her own personality and quirks—that is more challenging, right? Your cousin may have mentioned she would love to welcome a German shepherd into her home some day, but do you understand exactly what she’s looking for? When choosing a pet, people consider the following factors:
- Age—puppy or kitten, or adult
- A pet from a breeder, rescue, or animal shelter
Without knowing all the details of a person’s dream pet, you may choose a lifelong companion for someone who is less than pleased with the match.
#2: You may not know the situation at home regarding pets
A fluffy kitten or puppy tops many children’s Christmas lists, but a new pet in the midst of the holiday season only adds to the chaos. Presenting an adorable fur ball to your niece or nephew would likely place you squarely on their favorite relative list, but on a different list with your sibling. Adults often placate a child with the promise of a pet, without being completely honest. Without knowing whether a pet is truly welcome, avoid gifting one to a loved one.
#3: You may place an unwanted burden on a friend
Let’s face it—pets cost money. Food, treats, toys, crates, leashes, collars, veterinary care, medications, parasite prevention, bedding, and then new bedding after the first five beds have been shredded by puppy teeth, all add up to a substantial chunk of change. And, don’t forget the time investment pets require. Puppies or kittens need socialization and training, while young, active pets must burn off a lot of energy to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors. Although your loved one is likely tender-hearted and would not turn away a pet, the gift may create a serious strain on her finances and free time, and your relationship.
If you have any questions about other types of gifts to give to a fellow pet-lover, please contact us.