Is Giving Pets as a Gift a Good Idea?
We all love our pets and it stands to reason that anyone would be thrilled to receive a pet as a gift. But is it appropriate to give pets as gifts?
As much as you might long to see the way some one’s face lights up when they find a puppy or kitten under the tree on Christmas morning, giving a pet is more than a photo opportunity. Pets grow up and they represent a commitment to a new family member for many years. Before dreaming up ways to surprise someone with a pet, consider whether they are ready and able to take on that kind of responsibility.
You can find a lot of articles online warning against giving pets as gifts. However, studies conducted in recent years have shown that, contrary to what warnings suggest, pets received as gifts are actually less likely to be abandoned than pets either adopted or bought from other sources, including friends, pet shops, and shelters.
Factors to Consider
Giving pets as gifts does have the potential to backfire if it's not done with a lot of consideration, preparation, and care. Here are some guidelines to help you determine whether a pet would be an appropriate gift for someone:
Ways to Surprise Someone with a Pet
While it can be a good idea to give a pet as a gift, what is generally not a good idea is to actually wrap the pet up as a gift. Here are some creative ways you can surprise someone with a new pet.
Where to Find a Pet to Give
The gift of a pet will likely be much more appreciated if the pet is healthy, socialized, and well-behaved. It's best to avoid purchasing a pet from a pet shop or a back yard breeder. If you're determined to give a purebred pet with a solid pedigree, do your research to find a reputable breeder who sells directly to pet owners and not to pet shops.
Also consider getting a gift pet from an animal shelter. Animals in shelters are thoroughly vetted for health and behavioural issues and can make good pets. Even better, your loved one will not only receive the gift of a new companion — but they'll also know they've helped find a pet a forever home.
Giving pets as gifts can be a rewarding experience for the giver and the receiver. As long as you do your research and make the pet's welfare top priority, the gift of a pet could be the most cherished gift your loved one will ever receive.