Do pets make good gifts?
Studies show that there are many health and wellness benefits to owning a pet. However, this fact in itself does not mean that everyone will immediately be happier if they get a pet. For this reason, we have put together a few helpful points to consider before you get that someone you love a new pet.
The purchase or adoption of a pet should never be an impulse decision. We do not recommend giving pets to anyone who has not expressed a serious interest in having a pet or who does not have the ability to offer proper long-term care.
Should I give my loved one a pet?
There is only one way that a pet should ever be given as a surprise: If the giver intends to personally care for all of the pet's physical, emotional and financial needs.
If you will not be the primary caretaker of the pet, then selecting the pet should not be exclusively your decision. Although surprises feel very exciting, pet care can be a lifetime commitment and the recipient should have plenty say. Here are some things that you might ask:
1. Do you actually want a pet of your own?
Owning a pet is a big responsibility and can change a person's life. Just because someone loves following puppies on social media, does not mean that they are ready for chewed up shoes, poop pads and going for walks at 7am.
2. What species of pet would you prefer?
Even though your loved one may have lost their beloved macaw, they may not want to replace it with another one; knowing that, in captivity, these birds can live up to 50 years. This is a commitment that they may be uncomfortable with.
3. are there any things that you would absolutely NOT want in a pet?
Sometimes the idea of a new pet is nice, but not practical. For example, while it might be a neat idea to add a turtle to the aquarium, this might not be a good idea if there are small fish (aka: turtle food) already living in that habitat.
4. Do you have any prior commitments that you would like to fulfill before getting a pet?
Depending on the pet, there are a number of life events that may make having a new pet inconvenient or even impossible to care for. Some examples of this are scheduled vacations, medical procedures, an upcoming move, home renovations and out-of-town guests.
5. Would you like to meet the pet before I make things final?
In most instances, this is the only way to go. It is important that the pet and owner have personalities that match one another, since they will likely be together for many years.
By following these very basic steps, you set the human and animal up for the best start in their new life together.
Please let us know if you have any additional advice or experience with giving pets as presents.