Giving Pets as Gifts – Is it a Good Idea?
“Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” -George Eliot
Adorable puppies and cuddly kittens are frequent gifts in movies. These pets are always met with squeals of delight and the gift plan never backfires. In real life, however, giving pets as gifts is a risky venture. Unlike most other gifts, pets require substantial upkeep and, if the gift receiver doesn’t want a pet, your gift could end in needless suffering for an innocent animal. This doesn’t mean that pets are never appropriate as gifts, though. Here are 5 things to consider before giving a pet as a gift:
Does the Recipient Want a Pet?
Before giving a pet, you must be absolutely certain the gift recipient wants a pet. This automatically precludes giving pets–even fish– to people you don’t know well. But if your husband has been talking about getting a dog, your mother wants to replace her dearly departed cat or your best friend is obsessed with birds, a pet might be an appropriate gift. Make sure that you’re giving your loved one the pet they would choose for themselves and not the pet you want!
Can the Person Afford a Pet?
Pets cost much more than the price you pay for the animal itself. Animals require veterinary care, food, toys, cages, training and pet-sitters. Avoid giving a pet to someone who might not be able to afford it. You might think you’re purchasing a dog for someone who would love to have a puppy if money permits. But in reality, you might be sentencing your friend to financial hardship and the dog to inadequate veterinary care.
Are You Giving Pet Supplies?
Regardless of which pet you plan to give, you’ll need to provide the recipient with the supplies she needs to care for the pet for at least a few days. This is especially true if you’re giving a pet around the holiday season, when stores are likely to be closed. If you give a dog, ensure you provide a leash,