Giving a pet as a gift:
Adding a pet to the family is a long-term commitment and needs input from everyone that will be caring for the pet. Pets should never be given as holiday gifts.
If you do decide to give a pet as a gift to a child in your family or circle of friends, make sure you ask the parents first. In the end it will most likely be them looking after the pet and paying for its’ food and Veterinary Care.
There are many questions that need to be considered:
What type of pet would be suitable for the family or person?
What is their life-style?
Do they have time to spend with the pet? Do they travel a lot?
How much will it cost to feed and provide veterinary care?
Who will be the primary caregiver?
Are there allergies that need to be considered?
Instead of buying a puppy or kitten (or other little creatures), consider waiting until after the holidays and adopting one from the Humane Society or one of the many rescue groups. You could wrap up some supplies needed (food bowl, collar, bed, scratching post, hamster wheel) or give them a “gift certificate” for a pet of their choice.
This not only promotes responsible adoption, but provides a little fun, too. After the holidays, if your loved ones decide they are indeed willing and able to adopt a pet, you can bring them down to the local shelter or get in touch with a local rescue group where they can choose their new best friend.
We adopted our 2nd cat from the Humane Society in December 1999 and I remember that the shelter was not allowing any adoptions from December 20 until after the holidays. Most rescue groups follow that same principale.