Christmas is a time for gift giving and receiving. For those of us who love our own pets, giving a furry, feathered or finned animal to our family or close friends may seem like a great idea. For the recipients, however, this may be the last present they were prepared for. To ensure your gift is appreciated, here are tips on pet giving from veterinarian, Dr Jo Righetti.
A pet should always be wanted
Every pet that is added to a household should be wanted and should be a welcome addition to the existing family. But, unfortunately, too many pets are unwanted and end up in shelters and pounds looking for new homes.
If you are considering giving a pet as a gift, check that the recipients wish to own one. They are the ones who will have the hard work ahead and the expense involved in ongoing care. Even if they are family members and you have offered to help them care for their new arrival, they may wish to have a say in the type of animal they would like.
If your friends and family have agreed to allow you to give them a pet, why not involve them in the decision of which pet to acquire and in choosing the individual by visiting the breeder or a shelter with you.
A pet should always be cared for
This new companion animal is going to require care, very expensive and time-consuming care, perhaps for the next 20 years or more. For non–pet loving families, receiving a puppy or kitten on Christmas day would be like a pet lover receiving an elephant as a gift! Just what would we do with it!
On the other hand, during holiday time families often have more free time to spare; time that a new kitten, puppy or parrot could be settled in to their homes. If you are keen to give a pet as a gift, then perhaps you are also keen to help with its care.
If you give a pet as a gift, be prepared to help with its costs and upkeep. Also be prepared well in advance, as some particular breeds need reserving years in advance!
If a pet is desired and will be well cared for, the next decision will be what sort of animal companion to choose.
Consider the pros and cons of the most common pes before finalising which one you should bring into a family. Here are a list of advantages and disadvantages:
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