Giving pets as gifts or gift for pet owners seems like a pretty good idea instead of the usual cake, balloons, or sweatshirts during the gift-giving holidays and birthdays. Who couldn’t resist cute, warm, feathery or furry creatures. But, there are a lot of things to consider and think over before picking up a rabbit for your niece or a cat for your aunt.
A child may be excited when given a pet. But eventually, as the responsibility of caring for a pet starts to set in, the child will view it as a burden. If the child is way too young to care for a pet of his own, that burden will fall to his parents.
Pets can also put a dent in someone’s pockets. They do come with expenses like doctor visits, food and vitamins. If the person you are giving the pet to has a limited budget or income, he may not welcome the idea of owning a pet. Instead of being happy with having a pet companion, they may only be stressed because of the added financial burden.
Do not surprise someone with a pet unless you know that he wants and is ready to have that specific pet. Having pets need commitment. You are giving them something to take care of, feed, raise, love, nourish and treat well. A pet is not something that you can leave in a corner when you do not want it anymore.
Do your research. Be aware of pet related health issues. Animals can cause allergies, asthma attacks and many medical conditions. Many pets have been given back because children or a family member develop allergies.
Not everyone loves dogs. Some may like cats but prefer to have a goldfish in their home because it requires less maintenance. Different people prefer different kind of animals. Also, pets like people have their own personalities. If your friend likes to hike and camp up in the mountains, do not get him a pet that just likes to laze around the house and sleep all day. Elderly people would rather have some quiet, low-maintenance pets instead of very active ones.
Another factor to consider would be, do they have any existing pets in the family. If yes, will the old pet co-exist comfortably with the new one. Some pets like to socialize while some would rather be the only pet in the house and can be quite territorial.
Take note of the family environment and what environment the pet needs. If the family lives in a condo type unit home, maybe a large pet will not be applicable to them. If they spend all day in the office or school and come home quite late, a pet may not be a welcome idea. Do they travel a lot? Bringing a pet to a family who cannot give it proper attention will not be fair.
When you give someone a pet, make sure that they are properly informed on how to train, nourish and care for their pet. Some pets end up at animal shelters because their owners cannot handle expenses or “behavior issues”. Most of these could be avoided given that the owners have had adequate training, given proper attention to their pets and have made the proper selection of a pet.