Is It a Good Idea to Give a Pet As a Gift?
If you are making your list and checking it twice for your holiday gift giving, you probably have a person or two that are harder to buy for. It might have even crossed your mind that giving that person a new furry family member might be an option. But is it a good idea to give a pet as a gift? Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital has the answers you need to make a good gift giving move.
Considerations When Giving a Pet as a Gift
When you give a pet as a gift, it is not something that can be regifted easily, given to Goodwill, or stuffed in a closet. A pet is a lifelong commitment, and being a good pet owner is not without effort.
When considering giving a pet as a gift, ask yourself:
- Does the recipient really want a pet?
- Will they have the time to dedicate to training and caring for a new family member?
- Is the recipient in a financial position to provide good preventive care for a pet?
- Does their lifestyle lend to pet ownership? (i.e. do they work long hours, travel a lot)
- Will the gift recipient be able to put the effort into providing physical exercise and mental stimulation for a pet?
- Is their home set up for pet ownership (If they are in an apartment, are pets allowed? Do they have a yard?)
- Is the holiday season the best time to bring in a new pet or do chaotic schedules and travel making it more difficult?
- Are there other pets or small children to consider?
While the impulse of grabbling that fuzzy kitten or butterball puppy and tying a bow on it might seem like a lot of fun, pet ownership is not to be taken lightly. If you are seriously thinking of giving a pet as a gift, it is often best to have an in-depth conversation with the recipient first to be sure that everyone is set up for success.
Cost of Owning a Dog or Cat
One of the inadvertent responsibilities that you give someone when you give a pet as a gift is a financial obligation. The cost of owning a dog or a cat can really add up, and being sure that it is in the budget is important.
In fact, estimates indicate that on average, the cost to own a dog is about $35,600 throughout its lifetime. The cost to own a cat is around $17,800. If you are considering a puppy or kitten, a heavier portion of those costs will fall in the first year of life.
Costs to consider include:
- Adoption or breeder fees
- Local pet licensing fees
- Pet deposits
- Wellness vet visits (check out our pet wellness plans to help with this)
- Parasite prevention
- Pet supplies
- Pet food and treats
- Boarding/dog walker
- Dental care
- Unexpected medical expenses
- Pet insurance
Having a pet is well worth the extra effort and cost, but it is important that the person taking the burden of those things is prepared to do so. Giving a pet as a gift is not always the best idea depending on the situation, so be sure to evaluate carefully. That way, everyone wins!
Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital:
Where big city medicine and surgery meet small town customer service and value.
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