The Dangers of Gifting a Pet for Christmas

Gifting a Pet for Christmas

Arguably, there’s no better feeling than waking up on Christmas day to find a new furry friend waiting for you beside the tree. No matter whether this is a hamster, a cat, or a dog, there are several factors you should consider before gifting a pet over the holidays.

Raising and taking care of a small animal is a significant responsibility, and it’s crucial that pets go to loving and organized households. So, if you’re considering gifting a pet this Christmas, here are a few tips to ensure you’re making the right decision.

The Dangers of Gifting a Pet for Christmas

The Recipient May Not Want the Pet

Does the giftee really want the pet? No matter how adorable your adopted puppy may look, many people are not ready for the responsibility of looking after a new pet. Even if the gift recipient has talked about getting a pet in the past, it’s important to double-check this information before making any significant decisions.

Communication is key when it comes to giving pets to other families. Whilst a child may constantly ask for a pet, the parents may not approve. That’s why it’s important to consult all parties involved when gifting pets.

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The Recipient May Not Have the Means to Look After the Pet

Species as small as the domestic hamster will live between two to three years, whereas cats can live for up to 16 years. However, during that time they will need food, water, veterinary care, toys, medical treatments, love, attention, and more.

This means that the giftee will need the finances, space and time to look after their new pet during their lifetime. If you know that they may not be able to provide this, now might not be the right time for them to have a pet.

Christmas is a Busy Time

Between festive shopping, visiting family and organizing events, there may not be enough time in the day to care for a new pet over the Christmas period. Kittens and puppies require a lot of care and attention in the early stages, so it may be beneficial to wait for a quieter time of year. 

This also applies if the gift recipient has a busy lifestyle or job. Gifting a pet to a busy household can result in a pet being neglected or not cared for properly, so it’s important to consider this before making your decision.

The Dangers of Gifting a Pet for Christmas

How to Gift a Pet the Right Way

Pets aren’t just for Christmas, and there is a lot of responsibility that goes into raising a healthy and happy pet. If you’re adamant about giving the gift of a new pet to your loved ones, there are several ways you can do this safely. Read on to find out how.

1. Don’t!

No matter how happy a new pet may make the recipient feel, the animal’s welfare is your number one priority. This means that if you have any doubts about the animal’s future, it’s not worth the risk of gifting the pet.

Instead, you can provide all the tools and information to properly care for a pet. This can be anything from a puppy care kit to an iguana guide. This is a much safer way of gifting a pet, as it ensures that the recipient is properly prepared for the responsibilities they are about to take on.

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2. Consult the Parents First

If you’re giving a dog or cat to a child, you should always consult the parents first. Children are often not aware of the requirements for keeping a new pet healthy and happy. If the child loses interest, this responsibility is often passed on to parents or other family members. 

Make sure that the adults living with the child are happy to look after the pet to avoid complications further down the line.

3. Try Petsitting First

Looking after someone else’s pet can help you to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day tasks involved in keeping your own pet. If the recipient can’t handle a few days or weeks alone with a pet, likely, they won’t be able to properly care for their own.


“The Dangers of Gifting a Pet for Christmas”

Guest Writer: Dorothy Edgar on behalf of the Animal Health Company

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