Are Pets a Good Present?
We’ve all seen it before. Maybe it’s on a friend’s social media or maybe in a movie or television show. A little girl or boy is gifted a pet by their parents for their birthday or for a special holiday like Christmas. While of course joy is to be expected, are pets a good present? Whether it’s a puppy, a new kitten, or a small pet like a hamster, pets can make great gifts…if they’re in the right hands.
It’s important to think about all the different factors that go into caring for a pet long term. We’ll dive in to discuss these factors and how to choose the right time to give a pet as a present. After all, it’s not just about the joy of the person on the receiving end. It’s about the happiness and well-being of the pet, too!
Pets as Gifts for Prepared Families/People
First and foremost, pets should only be gifted to people and families who are prepared to receive the pet. While you can keep the pet a surprise, there are other factors to consider, as pets require time, money, and energy to get the best care. Below you’ll find ways to get a sense of readiness before gifting a pet.
- If the pet is young, will someone be around to help train it? Pets, especially when new to the home, require time and attention to help them adjust to their new life. It’s also important to remember that while children are primarily the ones given a pet, that pet will become a family pet. Children aren’t able to handle all the responsibilities, such as late night potty breaks, so the adults will also need to be on board with training.
- If the pet gets sick, will they have the funds to keep it healthy through vet care? While pet care is pricey, it’s not the only cost related to pets that you should know in advance. Pets require things such as a cage or crate, bedding, toys, food, treats, a leash, a collar, flea medicine, etc. The list goes on and on. Making sure the receiver or their family is able to afford and provide these items is crucial to the pet’s well-being.
- Does their home or lease allow pets? This is an important detail you might not think about. If someone is renting, it’s important to make sure that their landlord allows pets. Certain places also have breed restrictions when it comes to dogs. If they own the home, is this something they will want to take on? Having a pet can require getting new carpet and other repairs if they move.
- Will they be committed to this pet? Most importantly, will the person or family be committed to taking care of this pet? Depending on the pet, they can live to be close to (or even over) 20 years. Pets are a lifetime commitment, and it’s important to ensure that the person receiving the pet is ready for this commitment so that the pet is not taken to a shelter or re-homed, causing distress.
If the Commitment is there…
If you’ve thought it over and considered all the factors of preparedness, pets can make a wonderful present. They’re a great way to add joy, love, and companionship to your home and life. However, if you’ve decided that the person or family isn’t ready for a pet, you can always wait another year and re-evaluate. It’s important to look out for the best interest of the pet and caretaker and ensure that it’s a match made in fur-heaven!