Are you thinking about giving a pet as a gift?
Well, it might be time to think again. As much as we love pets at Vet24, we also understand that they come with huge financial and emotional responsibilities.
Cats and dogs that are given as gifts are vastly more likely to end up in a shelter. There can be problems when the person receiving the pet as a gift (the recipient) isn’t involved in the process of choosing the pet. This means there is a whole host of issues that can arise. Before you buy a cat or dog as a gift, consider the following:
The Recipient Might Not Have the Money to Care for the Pet
Cats and dogs can cost a great deal of money over their lifetime. As well as paying for kitten and puppy vaccinations, the recipient will have to pay for microchipping services and other general veterinary treatment like training for dogs and dental care for cats. Other expenses include pet food, grooming and cleaning, toys, bedding and boarding costs.
The Recipient Might Not Have the Time or Energy to Care for the Pet
The time commitment required to train, exercise, and even feed a pet can be huge – especially when the pet is young. Unfortunately for many pets given as gifts, the task proves too big for the owners. This is why cats and dogs given as gifts are far more likely to suffer neglect, behavioral problems and end up in a shelter.
The Recipient Might Not Have Wanted That Kind of Pet
If the person who receives the pet would have preferred a different kind of pet, they could look on the animal unfavourably and treat it badly. Perhaps they wanted a kitten and received a puppy; then they might not put the time into training, walking, or even bonding with the pup.
It Sends the Message That Pets Are Disposable Playthings
Even if the recipient(s) did want the pet, there is a novelty factor in receiving a pet as a gift, and once it wears off the pet is at risk of being neglected. This is especially the case when the recipients are young children who don’t necessarily have the attention span or emotional commitment to properly care for a pet for its whole lifetime. Remember that pets are living creatures that experience emotions and anxieties just like us. Ensuring that they get to a happy home is therefore of the utmost importance for their wellbeing.
The Gift Might Not Be Age-Appropriate
It often happens that parents buy pets for young children, and grown-up children buy pets for elderly parents. In both of these instances, the recipient of the gift might not have the time, money, physical strength, attention span or emotional grit to continue looking after the pet throughout its lifetime. If the pet is beyond their capabilities, it’s very likely to end up in a shelter within the first two of years of its life.
For more useful information about caring for your pet, visit Vet24’s Pet Blog. For general pet care and emergency services, visit our animal hospital in Perth.