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Cats, Dogs

Does a Pet Make a Good Holiday Gift?

154138434-pets-as-holiday-gifts-632x475Has your niece been talking non-stop about having a kitten? Do you know it will make her incredibly happy to see a new furry friend on Christmas Day? Has your son been begging for a dog and promising he’ll take care of him or her if you’ll only give him a chance? Then you’ve come to the right blog post! Read on…

Our first advice: Back away from the pet store. Turn around, get back in your car and read this blog post before you adopt a pet for someone else as a holiday or Christmas gift.

There are many things to consider before adopting a new pet as a holiday surprise. Whether it’s for your household or someone else’s home, take deep deliberation and time to make sure this is exactly what he or she needs.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before purchasing a pet as a gift:

  1. Have you discussed the idea with an adult in the household? Even though you might want it to be a surprise, there are some things better exposed. Make sure everyone in the house approves of the idea before adopting the pet.
  1. Do you – or the person you want to buy a pet for – have other pets in the home? This is something to pay close attention to. Do a little research as to what types of breeds get along. You might also consider whether you’re dog or cat is social and how they might accept the new family member into ‘their’ home.
  1. Does your child really want a pet? If you are buying for a child in your life, there might be a few things to look at before determining whether they actually are ready for the pet. Having a pet is a huge responsibility. It might be smart to start small. Consider a fish and see how well the child feeds and cleans the tank. Then move on to a pet that takes more time and commitment.
  1. How old, if any, are the children in the home? Different pets and breeds might be better with specific ages. Do a little research or talk to a professional at the animal shelter or pet store you’re planning to adopt from. There are tons of suggestions out there about how to introduce a pet to a child of any age. For example, you might introduce a two-year-old to a pet differently than you would a 15-year-old. Take all of these things into consideration before buying the first puppy you think they will fall in love with.
  1. What are the costs associated with having a pet? If you are purchasing a pet for another family, are you certain that they would be able to keep up with and maintain vaccinations, grooming visits, health issues, and more? The cost of owning a pet can be more than you might think. Do your research and weigh all of your options.

Note: Remember to ask and obtain as much information about the pet that you plan to adopt. A lot of animal shelters will provide information about personality and whether they get along with other pets or children. Before deciding on a specific pet, make sure those qualities will jive with the person you are buying the pet for.

What if you’re still not sure about buying a pet for someone who really wants one?

An excellent idea is to perhaps get them a gift card to the pet store or animal shelter. You might also ask them whether they have a donation gift option. Some shelters will allow you to donate money on behalf of another person. They may not get a pet as a present, but they are giving a gift to a pet in need. There are many options in this situation. Just make sure whatever you decide is the right decision for everyone.

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