Too often, folks gifted their significant other with a furry pet. As you all know, that special heart-to-heart connection we make with a dog or cat is something nobody else can choose for us. If you plan on giving one, you must consider how to give pets as gifts.
How to Give Pets as Gifts | A Holiday Treat
The Challenges of a New Pet
Besides the inherent matchmaking problems, the holidays can be a trying time for both the humans in the family and the new pet. Some experts say the holiday season is one of the worst times to introduce a new pet into your home. A new kitten, adult dog, or senior rescue animal is not something to shrug off. New pets need the stability of one-on-one attention to most easily fit into your lifestyle and home.
New pets need routine. There are also many holiday dangers, such as toxic plants and dangerous decorations, which put inquisitive pets at risk. Do you want to deal with a kitten climbing and un-decorating the tree this holiday season?
A Lifetime Commitment
Adopting a pet is a responsibility and lifetime commitment that requires careful thought because it will change the owner’s life for potentially the next 10 to 20 years. Will the person have the time, ability, and funds to care for the dog or cat? Even a “free” animal will require ongoing veterinary care. Food, kitty litter, toys and other necessities add to the initial cost.
In fact, there are some folks who (gasp!) genuinely don’t want a pet, no matter how much we believe they’d benefit from the situation. Please do not force an innocent pet on them. That hurts the animal, the gifted person, and you when the inevitable happens with the pet ending up at the shelter.
Responsible breeders and shelter workers understand the attraction of impulse shopping. They want to find new homes for the animals, but they want pet adoptions to be permanent. If you’re concerned that the perfect pet will be gone after the holidays, ask about putting down a deposit.
Truthfully, there are far more “perfect puppies” available than there are homes, and I promise, you will not miss out.
3 Ways “Gift” A Holiday Pet
1. Put Together A “Pet Care Package.”
Include kitty treats and food, dog toys and bowls, maybe a scratching post or clicker training supplies. Why not pre-pay for a 6-week obedience class for the new critter, and include a note to that effect? Don’t forget to wrap up appropriate care books for the new pet. Tie the whole works up in a fancy package and put that under the tree. A pet care package is suitable for those who already have a special cat or dog, or for folks considering adopting a new family member.
2. For the People, You Know Truly Want a Pet
Give them the most generous gift by allowing them to choose a particular cat or dog for themselves AFTER the holiday rush and bustle has settled. Instead of a yapping or purring present under the tree, including a “gift certificate” from the local animal welfare organization or reputable breeder, “good for one cat/dog of your choice.” Prepay for a dog training class, or fund the cost of the kitty’s first veterinary visit. You can print a gift certificate outlining your donation to the furry cause.
When you multiply this number by the number of animals we have, the cost to provide all of them with food really adds up. When you donate on #GivingTuesday, your dollars will help us feed our many animals and plus do so much more. Please consider donating on Tuesday, November 28! pic.twitter.com/XIZBRv6czA
— Pets In Need (@PetsInNeed1) November 19, 2017
Think about donating money, pet supplies, or your time as a volunteer to a local shelter or rescue group. Perhaps offer to pay into a “Good Samaritan” fund at your veterinary clinic, to help with pet care treatments for lower income pet lovers. Or you could make a donation to a pet health foundation in memory of a beloved pet, or on behalf of Great Aunt Agnes who can no longer care for a dog but still loves them dearly. That’s a gift that will repay you in more ways than can be counted.
Ontario SPCA touches the topic of giving pets as gifts and the realities that a family should consider regarding budget and all that:
When you do it right, gifting with a pet can be magic.
Do you have other magical ideas of how to give pets as gifts for the holidays? Let us know in the comments section below.