Giving pets as Christmas gifts might seem like the perfect touch to a joyful family Christmas Day but giving a pet as a Christmas gift without proper forethought could be a disaster waiting to happen. If you are considering giving pets, such as a dog or cat, as a Christmas present then consider these tips.
It is important to consider the recipient’s mental and physical abilities and limitations. Elderly, handicapped or children that receive pets as Christmas presents might need extra help to keep the animal happy and healthy since they aren’t capable of caring after the needs of animals and cleaning up after them. Most handicapped or elderly persons have a paid home helper that might be willing, or even required, to assist in the pet care. However, you should not assume that this is the case. Talk to the worker if possible and ask if pet care could be included in the regular schedule.
Sometimes people just aren’t emotionally capable of giving a pet all of the love and affection that the pet deserves. While a pet can be good therapy for the Christmas gift recipient, it isn’t fair to put an animal in a possibly abusive or neglectful home. This is one instance of when it is better to err on the side of good judgment and give fish or houseplants.
It is smart to consider whether the recipient would want a pet running around their home. Many people do not desire to have their furniture and carpets dirtied or their clothes covered with hair, especially if they have a weak immune system or problems with allergies. If the proposed recipient is in bad health, then a houseplant might be a better Christmas gift.
Giving a pet as a Christmas present to a person living in a rented apartment or house could leave the recipient paying hundreds of dollars in a pet deposit. Unfortunately giving a pet as a Christmas gift could cause worse consequences include the awkward choice of giving up the pet or being evicted. Every year there are Christmas pets that are abandoned because of these and other reasons within weeks of the passing holidays.
There are other pets besides kittens and puppies that can be given as a Christmas gift. Fish are a low maintenance choice that requires no affection, training, pet security deposits and landlord permissions. Hamsters require lots of cleaning but they might be perfect for anyone that doesn’t want their home damaged. Snakes can be a good gift for those that aren’t fearful and doesn’t want a daily responsibility.
I hope that you keep these tips in mind when Christmas shopping this season. After all, a pet as a Christmas present is one present that can’t be stashed in the attic or returned easily.