While there’s really nothing wrong in opting to give a friend or loved one a pet as a present for Christmas, the decision of doing so shouldn't be born from a whim – or worse, inspired by something trendy or popular like a movie featuring a certain animal in a leading role.
As countless pet owners from all over the world would attest, keeping a pet is a huge responsibility, one that isn’t just about segmented moments where owners spend time playing with dogs in the park.
From bunny gifts for Easter to Christmas puppies finding their way under Christmas trees, there are countless cases of “gift pets” being abandoned by their “owners”, sad cases which could have been avoided if gift givers were more conscientious about their gift item choices.
Though there are rare cases where “gift pet” recipients learn to be more responsible in the care of their pets, not all “gift pet” scenarios end with happily ever after endings, thus the value of considering certain points before deciding on giving a pet as a gift to someone.
Ideally, considerations should go beyond a “gift pet” recipient’s capacity to actually take care of their newfound pet, but should also include a pet’s age/lifespan, required veterinary care, its general personality and overall compatibility with people and personalities.
If you are really keen on giving someone a pet as a gift this Christmas, consider giving him/her a gift certificate that entitles bearers with a pet of their choice instead.
That way, you get to accomplish what you had intended to by giving the gift, at the same time give your “gift pet” recipient the option of which pet best fits with him or her.