Gift Giving Guide: Should You Give a Pet as a Gift?

The holiday season is a wonderful time filled with love, happiness, and, of course, gift giving. A well thought out gift is an amazing thing with the power to bring untold amounts of joy and convey how much those special people in our lives mean to us.

“A dog is for life, not just for Christmas” is a refrain commonly heard from animal rights groups around this time of year. Shelters are flooded with unwanted pets come January, a sad but true consequence of giving pets as gifts.

But is it really always a bad idea to give a pet as a gift? The answer is nuanced. Below we’ll discuss the pros and cons, and ins and outs of giving a pet as a gift to a loved one.

Pets and Gift Giving: What You Need to Know

First of all, we should say that it is not always necessarily a terrible idea to give a gift as a pet. However, there are some things that you should be sure of before you decide to do so. This handy holiday guide covers the basics.

In essence, you should be 100% certain that this new furry friend will be well taken care of, no matter what and there is no reason it would need to be given it up.

You should be prepared to help in looking after the animal in question. It may be a gift for someone else, but if you’re the person purchasing the pet, you should be ready to take at least some of the responsibility.

For this reason, it is not recommended that you buy a pet as a gift for someone you don’t live with. If you do this, there is no way for you to be fully sure the pet is well taken care of, which you need to be able to do.

Aside from this, make sure the gift recipient doesn’t have any allergies or phobias you’re unaware of. Make sure they have the physical and financial wherewithal to look after a pet.

At the end of the day, it is tough to be 100% certain of whether the person receiving the pet will be able to adequately look after it, because of this, we would say that the only ideal situation to give a pet as a gift is when the recipient has specifically asked for one, and you personally are able to ensure the pet will have a good home.

Can You Commit?

Gift giving should be a joyful experience. If you’re considering purchasing a pet as a gift, make sure you and the intended recipient satisfy all of the above criteria and are able to give a long term financial and emotional commitment. If you cannot, then it’s unlikely it’s a good idea for you to be purchasing a pet, no matter how nice of an idea it might seem.

If you found this guide helpful, check out the rest of my stuff, for all things mom-related.

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