Pets Aren’t Just for Christmas
We all want the gifts we’re giving to be amazing, unique and memorable when Christmas rolls around. This often leads to people buying kittens, puppies and other pets for loved ones.
A new pet is a wonderful addition to the family. However taking on any animal at Christmas should be a joint decision and not a surprise purchase.
Too many people are buying new pets without doing the proper research beforehand or ensuring they can be properly cared for by the recipient. Because of this, many people are finding themselves unable to provide the time and care their new pet needs. This can lead to neglect and abandonment, which we should all be working together to avoid.
So if you’re planning on buying a puppy or kitten for a loved one this Christmas, take a minute to ask yourself and the recipient these questions first:
Does the recipient actually want a new pet for Christmas?
An adorable new puppy or kitten may be a wonderful gift and very exciting to have around. Unfortunately the novelty can easily wear off, especially if you’re buying it as a gift for children.
You should make sure whoever you’re giving the new pet to is happy and willing to take on the responsibility that goes with owning an animal before you buy or adopt one.
Do they have time to care for a new pet?
If you’re buying a pet for a friend, do they have time to give it the care, attention and exercise it needs?
If they have a busy schedule or lots of work commitments, then it may mean their new puppy or kitten spends a lot of time alone. This may lead to pet loneliness, stress, anxiety and misbehaviour.
Make sure your loved one has plenty of time to spare for a new arrival before you commit to buying one as a gift. The decision should be made together!
Is their home suitable for a pet to live in?
A person could have all the time in the world to dedicate to a new puppy or kitten, but if their house isn’t big enough, doesn’t have a garden or is rented, it may not be an ideal environment to introduce a pet to. Imagine trying to house train a puppy from a top floor apartment, or explain to your landlord why there are claw marks on your rented sofa.
Make sure you check their new home will be pet-friendly before you buy. Also check that the home is suitable for the type of pet you’re buying. Small apartments and Saint Bernards aren’t a great match.
Can they afford to keep a pet?
This is a really important factor to consider. You may be paying the one-off purchase price for the new pet, but it’s the recipient who will have to pay for everything else.
Pet food can be expensive in the long term, and accessories, grooming and health maintenance all carry a cost too.
If you’re buying a pet as a gift for your children then you’ll know whether or not you can afford the additional costs. But if you’re buying for a friend you need to make sure they’re able to take on these costs.
Have you taken pet insurance costs into account?
Pet insurance is something many pet owners forget about when budgeting for a new pet. Not having any insurance can mean costly vet bills if something goes wrong. So make sure you factor this in if you’re buying a pet as a gift.
Pet insurance is very affordable. However, you should never assume that the person you’re giving a new pet to will be able to take this cost on, especially if this is their first ever pet.