With the holidays in full swing, gifts are at the front of everyone’s mind. For animal lovers, pets stay at the front of our minds. That would make it seem logical that pets would make a great gift, right? Well…maybe. Before you decide to bring that fluffy puppy or colorful beta fish, make sure your gift meets these criteria.
1. Does the recipient even want a pet? What you may think they need or want, may not necessarily be reality. Some people who recently lost a pet may still be in mourning. A family member could have an allergy to dogs or cats. Or someone may not have a pet because they realize they don’t have the time and effort required to care for their pet.
2. If a child is the recipient, do their parents know? We all know that most pets that are for the kids end up becoming the parent’s responsibility. It’s important to make sure the parents are prepared for the level of care that a living creature requires.
3. Will the pet fit in at home? A large breed puppy may not be the best choice for an apartment with an elderly couple. Are there other cats at home that won’t be accepting of a new cat entering their territory? Make sure the pet fits with the family.
4. Are they aware of and ready for the costs of pet care? We all know that pets need vaccines, heartworm prevention in addition to their food and litter. There will also be times when pets have health issues that need treating. Can the recipient provide the necessary care for their new addition?
We all know pets are a great addition to our families and bring lots of love and happiness into our lives. It is important to make sure, though, that those we are giving presents to are prepared to handle a living, breathing and sometimes misbehaving pet in their home. If we do that, we can keep the shelters a little more empty and our lives a little more full.