It’s the gift-giving season, and sometimes the best gift idea seems like putting a bow on a new furry friend. Giving someone a cat or dog during the holiday season can provide them with a lot of joy, but it can also have unintended consequences. Anyone who wants to give a pet for a gift should be aware of the pros and cons of their choice and consider their loved one’s lifestyle before they make the decision.
With all of the excitement surrounding the idea of a cute puppy or lovable kitten, sometimes people forget the reality of owning a pet. Getting an animal during one of the busiest times of the year may not be what’s best for the gift recipient or animal. People Helping Animals reminds gift givers that animals can be costly, and a lot of money and effort goes into pet care, which includes trips to the veterinarian, training, grooming and feeding. Not everyone may be ready for those responsibilities during what is already such an exciting time, and gift givers should be considerate of that.
The gift of a pet could also go awry is if it’s not the best fit for a person. Picking out a new pet requires the owner and the animal to bond, and the animal needs to fit an owner’s lifestyle. A lot of this depends on the pet’s disposition, energy level, size and hair type. Usually, a potential pet owner is the best person to decide what pet is right for him or her.
If a gift giver is still very enthusiastic about giving someone an animal for the holidays, there are several suggestions on how to do so and ensure the person is getting just what they want. Some shelters offer gift certificates, so the gift recipient can pick out the pet. If a shelter doesn’t offer a certificate, the next best option is an “IOU” with a basket of pet supplies. It might not be the ball of joy the gift giver was picturing, but it will give the recipient something to smile about. Another great gift idea for animal lovers is to donate to a shelter or rescue organization in the recipient’s name. This way, a person’s life won’t be altered, but a difference will still have been made in an animal’s life.