Pet Grooming

You Give a Pet as a Christmas Gift

Terry M. Cervantes 

The idea of finding a puppy or a kitten in a bow waiting for you is magical – but is it responsible? There are important questions that you need to ask before surprising someone with a pet as a gift.

Checklist for giving a pet

Animal shelters and rescue organizations are very familiar with well-meaning friends and family who come to find a surprise pet for a loved one. Whether it’s a grandparent giving their first pet to their grandchild, someone bringing a pet home for their partner, or an mature child trying to find a new pet for an elderly relative who recently lost their companion, they are always trying to do something right! However, being a responsible pet owner comes with the great responsibility of taking care of this animal.

Even before looking for a dog or a cat, make sure that you can safely answer all these questions with “yes” on behalf of the person to whom you want to offer this animal:

Do you really want a pet? Have you talked in a coherent and realistic way about how much you would like to adopt a pet and how you can imagine that this animal will fit into your life?

Do you know your lifestyle and your energy level? Not everyone has the time and energy to keep up with an energetic young animal – or even a pet at all. People with low energy consumption might be a good fit for a mature pet, while workaholics who are away all day might just be better plant parents (and that’s okay)!

Do you have the resources to engage with a pet? The cost of food, toys, litter boxes, veterinary bills, etc. can increase over time. Space is also an important asset, especially for people living in a Studio apartment.

Can you make a long-term commitment? Even if you want a pet now, where will you be next year? What would you say in five years? Students, people whose work requires frequent moves, and everyone whose lifestyle is changing may not be ready for a pet. Some dogs and cats can live for more than 20 years and you should plan to groom them for a long and happy life.

Is everyone in the household obliged to this pet? You may know that your sister would like a new dog, but will your partner do it? Anyone who lives with an animal is part of his care, and he must also want this animal. This is especially important for pets offered to children or the elderly, when other people are ultimately the main person who cares for the animal.

Do you know exactly what type of animal is best for you? Finding a perfect pet is more than just a Chihuahua versus Jack Russel. Do you want a sticky or independent pet? Do you want a couch potato or a mountaineer? Do you just want one or a whole package? It’s not always because you know a person well that you know the animal you want.

If you can safely tick every box, gifting a pet can work, as long as you do it right.

Responsible ways to give a pet

There are several ways to make the gift process as smooth as possible for the pet and its new owner. A box with holes waiting under the tree is not always the best method!

Offer a pet — no surprise

Instead of putting a puppy on your lap out of the sapphire, have a chat with the recipient. You can ask them all the tricky questions they should know the answers to before adopting a pet, and they can decide how involved they want to be in the process. You may like the idea of leaving the choice in your hands, or you may want to come to the shelter with them to choose your new addition.

Gift items and adoption fees

If you like the idea of having a surprise waiting for you on a holiday morning, pack a leash and a collar or a comfortable bed and toys with a gift certificate to cover the costs of adopting your new best friend. This allows you to choose your own pet and get a perfect match without the financial stress associated with buying a pet and accessories. (Added bonus: if you are waiting for the Adoption after the holidays, you will have free time to get your new pet used to your home.)

Adopt a pet for your family

The easiest way to make sure that a gifted pet receives all the love and care he needs is if you live with him and are willing to make this commitment. Whether you are a guardian getting a pet for your child or you are surprising your partner, knowing that you are part of the care team will help your new pet get everything he needs and more.

We strongly believe in introducing pets to loving homes and the joy of being a pet parent! With conscious and responsible planning, you can help a loved one find a new best friend who will bring him joy and happiness for years to come.

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Terry M. Cervantes 

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