The idea of an adorable new pet as a gift may seem like a beautiful idea for the holiday season, a birthday, and other events. However, many people fail to understand pet owners have an immense responsibility that shouldn’t be overlooked. While many people giving pets as gifts may have the best intentions, it is not a good idea to give pets as gifts on any occasion.
Why isn’t it a good idea? Pets are cute and cuddly, and people love to have them. The issue arises that many people who may think they would enjoy a pet soon find themselves unable to care enough for them. Many pets are returned to breeders or shelters because those receiving them discover many sacrifices and responsibilities come with owning a new pet.
Pets deserve to be part of the family and be showered with love, affection, and proper care. When pets are given to others as gifts, the likelihood of what gift-givers expect from the pets they give does not occur. Pets shouldn’t be given as gifts, and breeders and pet shelters need to play critical roles in educating people on why they should not be gifting pets to others.
Pets As Gifts: Why Breeders Need To Play a Role in Educating People
Time Management and Pets
One of the more significant reasons that breeders should explain why pets are not good gifts is time and the amount necessary for care. Pets need to be watched frequently, and there is a lot of time that needs to be dedicated to various things like house training, obedience training, eating schedules, and more.
If you want to give a pet as a gift, you should assess the person or people you are giving the pet to – do they have enough time to take care of a new pet?
People who work often, travel frequently, or otherwise will not be home regularly should not be asked to provide time for a pet. Understanding things like sleeping and eating schedules is crucial for pets when they become accustomed to a new home and can be too challenging for young children to establish.
Pets also get very anxious and stressed out when left alone. They should never be by themselves for too long. It can be difficult to know people’s work schedules and social calendars, and many who previously owned a pet do not understand all of the time needed. The holiday season itself is usually hectic for people, so bringing a new pet into someone’s life during that time can create an unwanted burden.
Pets are Expensive Gifts
While the gift-giver may make the initial payment to purchase the pet to be gifted, pets are not cheap to own and raise. New pet owners, especially, do not always anticipate all of the expenses of taking care of an animal, such as food, vet care, medications, insurance, and licensing.
Any person who is not prepared for the prices and responsibilities of being a pet owner should likely not receive a pet as a gift. Pets come with needs, so breeders and shelters have a responsibility to coordinate with the person who will be the actual pet owner to ensure they can afford and provide for a new pet in their life.
Pets are Not Good Gifts for Children
With all of the care, expense, and responsibility of owning a new pet, gifting them to a child has a detrimental effect. While the child may be excited at seeing a new cute and cuddly pet to play with, they soon can become tiresome or bored like they would with a toy. As a result, they are unwilling to put in the time and effort to care appropriately for their pet, which usually leads to a parent or guardian having to bear the burden of responsibility.
Children, unfortunately, only want to enjoy things like petting, playing, and giving treats to new pets. They don’t usually want to help with house or obedience training, cleaning up messes, or can take pets to the vet when needed. Due to this negligence, returning or losing a pet can also cause trauma for children.
Another aspect of having a pet for a child is knowing the particular temperament or breed of the animal. Some pets can exert unwanted behaviors and need adequate training or not bode well with children, so they don’t make great family pets. Unfortunately, those purchasing the pet most likely do not have all the facts or are fully aware of what animals would make the best pets for children, so it is better to air on the side of caution and avoid purchasing at all.
The Role of Breeders and Shelters
Mawoo Pets states that breeders and shelters reserve the right to decline purchases for new pets when they cannot verify that the owner will provide the pet with good home life. Responsibility extends to breeders and pet shelters. They need to educate people about specific pet breeds, the commitment necessary to care for a pet, and any other facts they can provide to someone looking to own a pet.
Meetings should happen with the potential owners, so at any point, if a pet is being purchased or adopted as a gift, the process should not continue. Breeders or shelters need to explain to people wanting to buy pets as gifts that they need to meet with the person who will be the valid owner and deter those wishing to purchase pets as surprise gifts.
Breeders understand that if a pet is given a gift, they are more likely to be returned, especially after the holiday season. Those impulse purchases can be returned, but returning a pet is a whole different situation. Any breeder or animal shelter should take on the authority to decline people from purchasing a new animal to gift to someone else.
If you desire to purchase a pet as a gift for someone, you should be 100% sure that they will be a fantastic pet owner. And, don’t surprise anyone with a pet as a gift. Instead, bring up the idea of pet ownership on multiple occasions, have them visit the breeder or shelter with you to find the perfect pet for you if they want one.
It is best to leave the owners to be the ones to purchase their pet, so they are fully prepared for the commitment and responsibility so that as a result, they can provide their pet with the love and affection needed for a long, happy and healthy life.