While an animal might seem like the ultimate Christmas gift, there’s quite a few things to consider before buying a dog or cat.
1. Is the recipient a child or an adult?
If you’re planning to give a child a pet, it’s important to recognize that the primary caretaker of the dog or cat will likely be the child’s parents. If the animal is for your own son or daughter, are you willing and able to take on this additional responsibility? And if the pet is for someone else’s child, it’s highly recommended that you receive permission prior to buying a pet, or you may have a very unhappily surprised mom or dad…
2. Does the recipient actually want a pet right now?
An animal is a big time commitment, so it’s important to be 100% about your decision to give a pet for Christmas. Even if you’re planning to give the dog or cat as a surprise, you can still ask some key questions to find out how accepting the recipient will be about becoming a pet parent.
How much time does the recipient have?
What kind of dog would be best? Big or small? Active or lazy? Puppy or dog?
Would the recipient be willing to potty train and house train an animal?
Does the recipient travel a lot?
These questions are a basic start, but are absolutely essential before making a final decision on whether or not to give an animal.
3. Adopt or buy?
Once you’ve researched and decided that giving a pet is a good idea, you’re ready for your next decision: adoption v. buying.
Buying a puppy might seem like the easiest option, but adoption also has many benefits. There is a wide variety of dogs in shelters and humane societies that would make great pets for different types of owners.
Another benefit of adopting rather than buying is that many shelter animals are often spayed/neutered and up-to-date on shots and vaccinations.
In addition, when you give a shelter dog as a gift, you’re also giving the pet a gift of a “forever” home.
The answers to these questions can definitely assist you in your decision on whether or not to buy a pet. If you decide an actual animal isn’t the best idea for the dog lover on your Christmas list, fear not. There’s still a ton of epic present options to consider.
The most important factor to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to give the gift of a pet is this:
Buying a pet is a short-term expense. Raising a pet in a good home is a long-term commitment.