8 reasons why you should never give a pet as a gift – ever!

There is so much joy in giving a loved one a special gift, especially when it is something that they really want. So, you might ask: if someone really wants a cat or a dog, why not give them a pet as a gift? Because it is a bad idea on so many levels. Here’s why…

1. Financial reasons

Taking proper care of an animal entails a substantial financial commitment. One has to really budget for a pet, and that doesn’t only apply to food. It also includes veterinary care, parasite prevention, medical insurance, toys, bedding and more. And this is for the entire lifetime of the pet, which could be anywhere between 10 and 15 years, or perhaps even longer. Do you know for sure that this person will be able to afford the ‘gift’ that you’re about to give them? And even if they can afford it, do you know for sure that they want to spend that much money on a pet every month?

2. Personal reasons

How often have you heard somebody wishing for something, but they don’t really mean it? For instance, “I also want a cat” might actually mean: “I also want a kitten to play with, because they are so cute, but I don’t necessarily want to take care of a cat for the rest of her life.”

Even if you are sure the person wants a specific breed of cat or dog, they might not like the one you choose for them. Rather let them choose their own pet – it is a very personal choice. You can always offer to pay for the animal, so that the pet is still a gift from you.

3. Time

Do you know for sure that the person who is about to receive the gift has the time to take care of the animal properly? Will they be able to take a dog for a walk every day? Will they be home every day, and will they have the energy to play with the animal? Or do they travel a lot?

Pets need daily affection and attention; not just to be fed. They need to be loved, and can’t just be left to their own devices. You might be giving the new pet with the best intentions, but the person might not have the time or energy for him.

4. Not a toy

Pets are not toys – we can’t play with them when we feel like it and then ‘put them away’ when we’re done. Think of a puppy or kitten as you would think of a human baby – you wouldn’t give someone a baby as a gift, would you? That would be immoral. The same applies to animals – rather give the intended recipient a stuffed toy.

Would you like to read the rest of the article? Get the December/January 2022/23 edition of Animaltalk magazine from retailers now, or order a printed or digital copy from www.coolmags.co.za.

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