Videos of surprise puppies or kittens on Christmas morning are flooding the internet. People open the box that meows and break into tears of joy. While this seems like a unique and fun gift, one must ultimately consider the responsibilities that comes with owning a pet.
- Time – With a new pet comes many responsibilities including the need to train your pet. Your new family member will need to be potty trained, learn basic commands, and get used to a new daily schedule. All of this takes a lot of time to accomplish.
- Space – Breeds matter, depending on location. If you’re getting a pet for an apartment dweller, perhaps a herding dog isn’t the best choice due to their need for space to run.
- Funds – Pets overall can be a costly responsibility. Even if the pet is “free” this doesn’t cover veterinary costs, training costs, food costs, and cost of toys and accessories.
- Rules and restrictions– Unless the person who is receiving the gift is a homeowner, there are typically rules to which types, if any that are allowed. One must also be knowledgeable of other potential restrictions, such as allergies.
Before surprising a loved one with a pet, be sure it is thoroughly discussed and the responsibilities are understood. Never ever make an impulse decision with an animal – they’re a serious commitment. Instead of giving a pet as a surprise, agree to pay the adoption fee for a pet that has been considered and visited. Most important if you are choosing to get the pet for a child, consider the age and responsibilities of the child. Is the child old enough to care for this pet? In addition, be aware that responsibilities may fall back on you as the gift giver, if the receiver not be prepared to be a pet owner.
Overall, it is best to be prepared before giving a pet as a gift. Pets give us unconditional love and joy, but in return we must have the ability to properly care for them.