Think Twice Before Gifting an Animal

Pets are for lifeThe holidays are arriving and lots of gift-giving will be occurring. Quite often animals are given as gifts during this time of year. While this is not always a bad gift idea, do think twice before giving an animal to someone who is not expecting to take on the responsibility of a pet. Pet ownership should not be an impulse decision. Planning is an important step in bringing an animal home including deciding on the species, breed, and age of the animal. The recipient should have the chance to consent to pet ownership and be able to choose a pet that fits his or her lifestyle. For example, a border collie may not be the best gift for a sedentary person living in town with a small section. A puppy may be great for someone with time and patience for training, but an adult cat might be better for someone who works long hours. Pet ownership is a long-term commitment.
Animals are living longer than they have before in part because of the improved diets and medical care available. That being said, this care is not necessarily cheap. Providing a quality environment, attention, proper diet, veterinary care, and adequate exercise requires both a significant amount of money and time. Emergencies can occur at any time and people are often not financially prepared for them, especially if a pet has come as a surprise. Animals can make wonderful gifts if given appropriately. Make sure that if you plan to gift an animal to someone, that the receiver is able to take part in the decision making surrounding their new pet. Many animals are relinquished each year due to owners’ inability to properly care for them. If given properly, the pet you are gifting will instead enjoy a long and happy life in their new home.