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Advice on Giving Pets as Gifts

reading time: 3 minutes

Advice on Giving Pets as Gifts

Giving someone a pet as a gift might sometimes seems like a great idea – though many would say it’s a total no-no. But neither are true all the time. Here’s our advice.

The Risks

You might’ve heard it said that giving pets as gifts can be cruel. This can be true – there are substantial risks to gifting pets. Pets are a long-term commitment, and an unwilling (or, potentially worse, an unready) recipient might very well give the pet away soon after they get it. This means you run the risk of a pet who is abandoned, neglected, or has to be rehomed. Someone’s first pet is an especially bad idea. During the festive season, these risks are especially exemplified – so don’t get caught up and buy on impulse.

How You Can Give Pets as Gifts

Gifting pets can be okay in certain, very specific cases. First, make sure the person really wants the pet you’re going to get them. They need to be committed to care, and it’s ideal to make sure the person is enthusiastic about a specific pet (i.e. a dog of a certain size), rather than just a random animal for a companion. Be confident they’ll look after the animal – including walking and playing with the pet, paying for food, toys, and the vets, as well as making sure they have the space and the time.

A good way to ensure the pet is going to be looked after properly is to only get pets for close family members, preferably those in your household. Getting a family pet for everyone to love is probably one of the best routes. That way, you minimise the possibility of the person you don’t know well enough awkwardly taking in an animal they can’t care for out of courtesy, and if you’re in the same household as the person, you know the animal’s being looked after.

Tell the recipient what you’re getting them. A surprise gift might be tempting, but if they are taking on the responsibility to look after the pet themselves, they need to be prepared. Discussion is best. They should also get the all the information from the trusted retailer or shelter before taking the pet in.

Finally, always keep in mind that the pet your giving is a living creature – you’re giving the pet to someone for the animal’s whole lifetime, so guarantee the pet will be safe, happy, healthy, and at home with them. Speak to one of our in-store experts or the rehoming shelter if you have any more questions.

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