Why Giving a Pet as a Gift is Not a Good Idea
The holiday gift-giving season is upon us and it’s time to figure out what to give that special someone (or someones) in your life. If giving a puppy or kitten as a present has crossed your mind, or if your kids have begged for one and you are about to give in, please reconsider gifting a pet and cross that idea off your list. Even though it’s fun to have a new pet, and we can’t deny that puppies and kittens top the cute scale, giving pets as a gift around the holiday season is a bad idea for several reasons.
Stress around the holidaysConsider the holiday stress that occurs this time of year. There is a lot going on, even without adding a new pet to the mix. If you are at a party, or have people in your home, that’s not a great time to introduce a pet to their new person and home. A new puppy won’t be potty-trained and is likely to chew or eat something they shouldn’t. A new kitten may scratch up the furniture or try to climb the tree. Is the person getting the pet planning to travel at all around the holidays? Leaving a new pet behind while visiting can be stressful for the pet and lead to accidents around the house. The holidays are hectic enough without adding a new pet to the mix.
Responsible pet ownership is a commitmentPet ownership is a responsibility and a long-term commitment. Is your special someone ready to commit to years of having a pet and the cost of pet ownership? The cost of owning a pet is considerable – they need food, toys, spay/neutering, and ongoing vet visits. Many pets are sent or returned to shelters after the holidays because they weren’t a good fit for the family. It’s traumatizing for pets to be returned to a shelter. If the whole house isn’t ready for the responsibilities of having a pet, just wait.
Consider Giving a Certificate for Adoption at a Local ShelterIf you are sure that the person you are gifting really wants a pet and is ready for the responsibility, we suggest giving a gift certificate for an adoption fee at a local shelter. That way, the gift is given but the person adopting can pick a pet that matches their personality and bring home their new pet another day.
There’s nothing better than a happy dog when you walk in the door or snuggling with a purring cat on your lap. Be a responsible pet owner. Don’t consider giving pets as gifts this holiday season. Pets aren’t for photo-ops. They are family.