The idea of a little puppy or kitten snuggled in a festive basket under the Christmas tree is too cute, but you might want to put the brakes on giving a pet as a gift. Here are three reasons why pets don’t always make great gifts.

#1: Adopting a pet is a personal decision

Picking out the perfect gift for anyone can be tough. Imagine trying to choose a living, breathing animal with her own personality and quirks—that is more challenging, right? Your cousin may have mentioned she would love to welcome a German shepherd into her home someday, but do you understand exactly what she’s looking for? When choosing a pet, people consider the following factors:

  • Species
  • Breed
  • Gender
  • Age—puppy or kitten, or adult
  • Color
  • Temperament
  • A pet from a breeder, rescue, or animal shelter

 Without knowing all the details of a person’s dream pet, you may choose a lifelong companion for someone who is less than pleased with the match.

#2: You may not know the situation at home regarding pets

A fluffy kitten or puppy tops many children’s Christmas lists, but a new pet in the midst of the holiday season only adds to the chaos. Presenting an adorable furball to your niece or nephew would likely place you squarely on their favorite relative list, but on a different list with your sibling. Adults often placate a child with the promise of a pet, without being completely honest. Without knowing whether a pet is truly welcome, avoid gifting one to a loved one.

#3: You may place an unwanted burden on a friend

Let’s face it—pets cost money. Food, treats, toys, crates, leashes, collars, veterinary care, medications, parasite prevention, bedding, and then new bedding after the first five beds have been shredded by puppy teeth, all add up to a substantial chunk of change. And, don’t forget the time investment pets require. Puppies or kittens need socialization and training, while young, active pets must burn off a lot of energy to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors. Although your loved one is likely tender-hearted and would not turn away a pet, the gift may create a serious strain on her finances and free time, and your relationship.

Instead of trying to affix a bow on a pet, schedule a wellness visit for your friend’s future pet as a wonderful gesture. Call us to make an appointment.