Christmas is a great time for surprises, but giving pets as Christmas gifts may or may not be a good surprise for someone to receive during the holidays. There are several things you should consider and discuss with the recipient before you give pets as gifts at Christmas.
Desire: The first thing you need to consider before giving pets as Christmas presents is if the recipient truly wants a pet. Loving cats or dogs doesn’t necessarily mean that someone wants to have one full-time. Before you decide to give a pet as a gift talk to the intended recipient about whether he or she truly wants to have a pet and what that will mean for him or her.
Cost: Another thing you need to consider before you give pets as Christmas gifts is if the recipient can afford it or not. Does the recipient have the means with which to take care of the pet on a long-term basis? Will he or she be able to provide the pet with food, litter, water, regular vet care, toys, and so forth? If the recipient is low-income, are there resources in his or her area that will help provide for the pet? For instance, does the individual live near a low-cost vet clinic or hospital where the pet can receive regular vet care at a discount?
Personality: If the recipient truly wants a pet and can afford it, you need to allow him or her to pick out the pet himself or herself. This will take the surprise out of the gift, yes, but it is important to allow the recipient to pick out his or her own pet because the recipient is the one who will be living with the pet for years to come. A pet’s personality and a person’s personality need to mesh well in order for the relationship to be a good one. For instance, an active kitten wouldn’t be the best choice for an elderly woman who has a difficult time getting around her home.
Check out your local shelters to find out when their hours are, what the adoption fee is, and so forth. Then, take the recipient to the shelter and allow him or her to pick out his or her own pet.
Timing: Timing is another factor you need to consider when giving pets as gifts. Giving pets as a Christmas gift may be a good idea, but giving them to the recipient on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day may not be a good idea. The holidays are a busy time of year and the recipient may be traveling during the holidays. This wouldn’t be a good time to try and acclimate a new pet to the home. Instead, it would be better to give pets as Christmas gifts either two weeks before or two weeks after Christmas when there isn’t as much going on in the home. This will allow both recipient and pet to adjust more easily to the new arrangement.
Will the Recipient Have Enough Time: Before you give pets as Christmas presents you also need to consider whether or not the recipient will have enough time for the new pet. For instance, if you would like to give the recipient a dog for the holidays, you must consider whether or not the person will have enough time to walk the dog on a regular basis. Likewise, cats require regular attention and affection to bond with their owners.
Pets can make excellent Christmas presents if the recipient truly wants one, has the means and time to take care of one, if it is purchased and brought home at a good time, and the person enjoys the pet’s personality. If you are considering giving pets as Christmas presents, please consider these factors before you do. Happy Holidays!