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Santa Paws? Things to Consider Before Gifting a Pet

Santa Paws? Things to Consider Before Gifting a Pet

Gifting an animal as a holiday present or New Year's gift can be a wonderful experience. There’s something wonderful about seeing a puppy enthusiastically greet its new owner or to watch a kitten tumble through the shredded wrapping paper.

But before you commit to giving an animal as a gift, consider these pointers on animal gifting for the holidays.

1. Every Animal Will Grow

It doesn’t matter if it’s a puppy or a baby bearded lizard, every animal will grow. Keeping that in mind, consider the living space of the person you’re gifting the animal. If you plan on giving them a goldfish or a hamster, square footage probably will not present much of a challenge. But if you’re giving them a Great Dane, better make sure they’ve got a big house.

2. It’s a Commitment

Every animal requires some level of time and attention. As such, the person receiving the animal has to be prepared to make changes in their lifestyle to accommodate the needs of their new pet.

If you’ve ever heard people refer to their cats or dogs as “fur babies,” you’ll find out very quickly they weren’t just saying that to be obnoxiously cute. Having an animal in your home can be very similar to having other people in the house. And this can go beyond just feeding, bathing, and walks; the animal may have specific health or attention needs that will have to be addressed by their owners.

3. Special Needs

Fish and other aquatic animals can require specific salinization or temperatures in their water to survive. Dogs may need constant social interaction to address anxiety and loneliness, which can lead to destructive tendencies. Snakes and lizards needs secure tanks with access to light. And all of them require specific foods to maintain a healthy diet.

Cats, on the other hand, can generally fend for themselves.

4. Consider the Recipient

If the person receiving a cat for a Christmas present has a severe cat allergy, don’t give them the cat. If they have an active lifestyle that keeps them out of the house most of the time, consider a pet that require little attention. Keep in mind the person’s personality traits and general temperament; an anxious person won’t do well with an anxious pet.

5. Breed Types

Going along with recipient considerations, keep in mind that not all animal breeds can be seen as equal. For example, Calico cats can be more temperamental compared to Tabbies or Russian Blues. Husky dogs require a lot of exercise, whereas dachshunds like to burrow and dig. And macaws can be significantly louder compared to finches or other small birds.

While it’s not always possible to gauge an animal’s personality or how the will react to their new living arrangement, a lot of published information can be found on popular pets. That information can provide guidance on the type of animal to select for a gift.

The bond between a pet and its owner can be magical, which explains the popularity of giving animals as gifts. If you do still plan on gifting an animal this year, have a backup plan to place the animal in a good home if things don’t work out.


Santa Paws? Things to Consider Before Gifting a Pet


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