Pets as Gifts: What to Consider


Under the right circumstances, pets can be memorable, marvelous gifts that the recipient will treasure for years to come. The conventional wisdom is not to give away pets as gifts, but that might not always be the best course of action.

Giving a pet to someone can be a fantastic gift. We’ve all heard stories which fit the worst-case scenario. But this article will deal with precisely what to avoid and what to consider. With all of our tips in mind, you can achieve the best-case scenario, and bring joy to someone you care about.

Who to Give a Pet to?

Caring for a pet is a complex, long-term obligation. Under no circumstances should you give a pet to someone randomly or on a whim. Giving a pet to someone requires a lot of introspection and preparation.

Has the person in question expressed a desire for a pet? Pets should only be given to people who have already expressed a committed interest in caring for one. Does the person in question have the means, space, and time to care for a pet? These are the most important questions to consider. Always make sure that the recipient wants a pet, and has the appropriate prerequisites to care for one.

What Type of Pet to Get?

The second most important element to consider is the choice of pet. If you’ve determined that a person wants a pet and can take care of it, the next step is to find a pet that would be a good match for them.

Of course, the recipient’s preferences factor into this. You wouldn’t get a cat or fish for a dog lover, or vice-versa. But be mindful, you should balance preferences against realities. Does the person have the time and space to care for a specific pet? Another thing to consider is allergies, which make some pets completely incompatible with certain people.

Purchase, Adopt, or Rescue?

Where you get the pet from can make a huge difference. People have different preferences, some of which can be very pronounced. Some people are against the idea of purchasing pets, and would only accept an adopted or rescued pet.

This point is important for a few reasons. When purchasing a pet, you can choose the breed, and most pets are purchased young. With rescues and adoption, it’s harder to control these two factors. Whatever the case may be, there is a simple rule of thumb: choose like the recipient of the pet would choose for themselves.

Covering Initial Costs and Other Considerations

When you give someone a pet as a gift, you should consider the initial costs. It is considered common courtesy to buy toys, leashes, bowls, food, and other items such as a litter box or bedding.

 A gift bag with these items will go a long way in making the initial period easier and more enjoyable for the recipient. Make sure that everyone in the household is on board with the idea of owning a pet before making the final call.