Giving Pets as Gifts: How to Do So Responsibly

Ultimate Guide to Giving a Pet as a Present

We might have already heard the saying “never give pets as presents” before, which led us to start thinking what if it’s no longer the case, and because animal adoption experts agree, maybe it’s now a great idea to send pets as presents.

People are often worried that when they send pets as presents, there is a chance that the recipient would not at all be interested in owning a pet. Experts agree on giving pets as presents are okay as long as you ensure that you know the recipient well enough and that they actually would want to own a pet to not let your present be in vain.

According to a 2013 study that’s been done and posted in the journal Animals, they asked more than 200 people that received pets as presents, the proponents of the study did not find any meaningful relationship based on whether the person received a dog or a cat. The study concluded that not only the majority of the pets that have been given as presents are still owned by the recipients, and the participants also said that after they received the pet as a present, it increased their love for that particular animal.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), instead of prohibiting this practice now actually recommends people to give pets as presents but they have to ensure that the people they give them to are interested and have the ability to take care of them. They also noted that the animals that would be given should only come from trusted sources.

Industry experts reiterated that one of the major objectives of animal rescue organizations is to find homes for pets, and if ban giving pets as presents we are shutting down this great opportunity for pets to finally be able to find a home. But some organizations don’t agree. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA for example, quite strongly stated that they don’t believe that animals make good presents.

But there are more and more people and animal experts and veterinarians who believe that giving pets as presents to people that actually want and are prepared to take care of them is a good thing. In order to help you determine if giving pets as presents are the right decision for you, we have compiled expert opinions.

Giving Pets as Gifts

When Should You Give Pets as Presents?

Before you start even thinking about giving pets as presents, experts say that it’s important that you know well enough who you’re giving it to, also make sure that the present you’ll give the recipient is something that they would actually want. You wouldn’t, for instance, give a cat to a family that is obsessed with dogs, and also consider that if you’re thinking of giving it to a child, make sure that their carers approve of the idea. Animal adoption experts say that giving someone a pet as a present is not like giving them a computer which they will replace in a span of three years, taking care of a pet is a 10 to 15-year commitment, so you really have to make sure that they are prepared to take care of it.

Ultimate Guide to Giving a Pet as a Present

There are 7 things you should consider before picking up your pet present:

1. Space

Make sure that the environment of the animal is conducive, and that there aren’t any animal restrictions in the place where the recipient lives.

2. Cost

The recipient must be able to afford the pets’ needs like food, shelter, vet care, etc.

3. Interest

The recipient must already express interest in owning a pet.

4. Time

Dogs need exercise so the recipient must be able to give time to interact and play with the pet.

5. Health

Does the recipient have any allergies or other health conditions that could get aggravated by owning a pet?

6. Compatibility

Consider the lifestyle of the person you’re giving the pet to, do they have a relaxed or active lifestyle, because the pet should match them.

7. Other Pets

Make sure that the pet you will give them would get along just fine with the animals that are already part of their household if there are any.

Wondering what’s the easiest way to get all this information? Ask the recipient directly, it would ruin the surprise but it would ensure that the pet would be taken care of properly.

How Should You Give a Pet as a Present?

There are a lot of ways to go about this because pets are somewhat still a unique gift, the possibilities are all the more endless. You can put it under the recipient’s Christmas tree, give them a stuffed toy and then accompany them on picking up the actual pet from the shelter. Another idea is to buy a gift certificate from the shelter and give that to the recipient so that they can donate it themselves, this one would allow the recipient to get the pet from the shelter in their own time.

If you now have the plan on how to give the pet to the recipient, just ensure that you include a collar, leash, beddings, food, toys, and other things that they might need to jumpstart taking care of their new pet. Also, figure out how the animal could be able to adapt to the new environment as quickly as possible, you can help set up the place where they rest for example.

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Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect: john@lastartups.com

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