Tips for Giving a Pet as a Gift

bulldog at the Christmas treeGiving a pet as a gift is a wonderful holiday idea for the animal lover in your life. Here are some tips for giving a dog, cat or other animal as a gift this season!

Should You Give a Pet as a Present?

Every animal is a gift. During the holidays, however, people start wondering if they should give a pet as a present. Of course, when faced with a holiday gift list it’s natural to try to hone in on what the recipient likes. If you have an animal lover in your midst, it may seem like a no-brainer to match them with a new pet.

Arranging an adoption for someone else can have excellent results, but sometimes a few alternatives can better serve your holiday gift recipient.

First Things First

Pet ownership is a real – and deeply felt – commitment. While giving a pet as a present can thrill and delight the recipient, it’s possible that those feelings can diminish once the real tasks are recognized.

A truly responsible pet owner understands that a pet’s needs go beyond the basics (food, bedding, toys, and so on), which makes the commitment to support long-term health and wellness a must. You may absorb the initial cost of adoption, but your recipient must be able to meet all of the future needs of the pet.

A pet as a gift may very well be the perfect idea for your friend or relative, but it’s important to remember that choosing an animal can be quite personal.

Alternatives to Giving a Pet as a Present

If you see a potential for responsible pet ownership in a family member or friend, there may be  other ways you can honor that “special spark”. Instead of deciding on a live animal that you think he or she will love, consider these alternatives:

  • Offer learning tools, such as books, magazines, or videos that show how to care for a particular species.
  • For a young person, give a plush toy that resembles the animal he or she would want or books about what that live animal would require as a pet.
  • Give the necessary supplies, such as crate, travel kennel, bird cage, heat lamp, bedding, toys, food, collar, leash, litter box, etc.
  • Include the individual in the adoption process. Provide a gift certificate that allows him or her to choose the perfect pet (when the time is right).

Other Joyful Ideas

Sometimes, a proven animal lover already has a pet at home (or several), and receiving a new one as a gift can challenge an existing dynamic. In that case, may we suggest:

  • Making a donation to an animal shelter or rescue in your gift recipient’s name
  • Giving pet-safe toys, food puzzles, interactive feeders, or new gear
  • Offering your help or services, such as a weekly walk or assistance with waste removal
  • Providing gift cards or certificates to help with wellness exams, grooming sessions, dental care, or even pet insurance costs

Happy Holidays!

We hope that we’ve helped you regarding giving a pet as a present. Another worthwhile opportunity might be fostering a pet to see if an adoption is the right choice for all involved.

Our doctors and staff members at Ten West Bird and Animal Hospital are always pleased to meet a new furry or feathered friend. We hope you’ll let us know if you have any questions or concerns.