Pets bring us joy year-round, so it’s no surprise that many people give one as a gift to friends or family members for the holidays. While finding a home for a pet is a gift in and of itself, there are considerations that should be made before gifting a furry friend. Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society (DAVMS) recommends following these Do’s and Don’ts before choosing a pet as a gift.
Don’t get a pet on impulse. Even if a friend or family member says that they want a pet, don’t commit to one unless they are absolutely sure that they want it, and have taken the time to think about what kind of pet they want and how they will care for it.
Don’t make it a surprise. If the person you are getting the pet for is serious about having a new furry (or scaly or feathery) family member, let them pick it out. Pets have different needs and personalities, so you want to make sure it’s the right fit for the person receiving it. If your friend or family member does not feel a connection with the pet or cannot care for it properly, it will likely be given away or end up in a shelter.
Do contribute to the pet’s care. Adoption fees are not the only expenses that come with a pet. Pets need food, supplies, and toys, and will need to see a veterinarian at least once a year. A great gift for a new owner would be to put money towards a savings account for the pet or pet insurance to help cover its healthcare costs for annual wellness exams, vaccinations, and if it gets sick or injured.
Do have a good talk about the pet’s future. There are many important questions to ask potential pet owners before committing to having a pet. Will they be able to afford care for the pet? Will they be able to take the pet with them if they move? Are their family members or roommates okay with having a pet in their home? What will they do with the pet if they can’t take care of it anymore? These are all important considerations to be made before bringing a pet into the home.
Holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries may only come once a year, but pets are a big responsibility every day for many years. It is important to think about the commitment and bond between a pet and a potential owner before making the decision to bring one into their home.
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