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Questions to Ask Yourself Before Giving Pets as Gifts

December 9, 2008

Tis the season, right? That’s what I keep hearing mom talk about. You humans celebrate by bringing dead tree’s into the house, hanging stuff all over them, wrapping lots of goodies and rewards in paper, then giving these things to each other. Okay, well it’s gonna take me awhile to figure that one out…I mean come on, tree’s are good for sniffing and peeing on, so why would you want to bring it into the house…? Is this fine foliage a present for yours truly?

Anyway, the one thing that keeps sticking in my head is the whole idea of giving one of my fellow inquisitive canines or some curious kitty or some other “pet” to someone else as a “gift”. Hello? Can’t this be kinda risky? I know some of my former roommates were “gifts”. They ended up where I used to live (called a ‘rescue’) before mom and dad adopted me and brought me to my forever home.

Well, maybe I can help. These are some questions this inquisitive canine would want answered before someone decides to give someone else a furry friend. And hey, since it’s the holiday season, I think I’m gonna call it:

Poncho’s Top 10 Things to Ask Yourself Before Gifting A Pet This Holiday Season:

  1. Does this potential pet owner, and all persons living in the same household, really want a pet? Is anyone “on the fence” about bringing a pet into the home? It’s important that all humans be on board about changing the family dynamics. 
  2. Why does this person/family want a pet? Is it for the family companion? Service work? Protection? Because you think they should have one?
  3. Does this potential pet owner, and everyone involved, have the time to devote to a pet? Some pets take more time and attention than others. Us dogs need physical and mental exercise every day. Plus, we enjoy these activities with our family members and friends.
  4. Can this person/family afford a pet? Besides the expense of food, shelter, licensing, required vaccinations, there’s also the chance of unforeseen issues such as illness, accidents, or hereditary problems which can result in expensive procedures and treatments.
  5. Does this person/family live in a place where pets are allowed? All shapes sizes and species? If this person had to move, would the pet be able to go with them.
  6. Is it the right time to add a pet to this person’s/family’s household? Are there any other stressors that may be impacted by the addition of a new pet? Illness of family members? Marriage? Divorce? New baby? Moving?
  7. What if something happens to the person you give the pet to? Will there be others to help out? Can other arrangements be made?
  8. Does the pet you want to give to this person/family match their lifestyle? Do they travel a lot? Camping? Airplane? At work all day long? Live by themselves? Roommates? Other animals in the house?
  9. Is this person physically capable of taking care of the specific pet? Animals need to be picked up, carried, placed in cars and carriers.
  10. Is the person/family able to commit to the lifetime of the pet? Dogs can live to well over ten years, and cats even older.

I hope I’ve helped stimulate your mind in making an informed decision about giving the gift of a pet this holiday season. Us domestic animals appreciate being placed into loving and attentive, responsible households, and hope one day there is a shortage of pets because everyone wants one of us. Until then, I’ll keep on asking my questions…

Speaking of… I wonder what mom and dad are going to get me this holiday? A new toy? Leftover turkey? A romp at the beach? A belly rub or two? Hmm, something for this inquisitive canine to ponder…


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