Presents With a Pulse: How to Gift a Pet for Christmas


“It’s the thought that counts” is a mantra associated with the sentiment of gift giving, but the actual gift may not be the best idea in every scenario. For example, despite the good intent, it’s not a wise idea to donate a rambunctious dog to a family with small children; the children may get injured, and due to limited attention, the dog may feel neglected and sad.

However, there is a good way to give a pet as a present, ensuring the kind sentiment is also practical and a good idea.

Surprise! It’s a Dog

As mentioned, despite the kind thought, it’s a bad idea to give some a pet as a gift. It’s especially bad to make the pet a surprise gift. For example, what if you present a young family member with a dog they always wanted but the parents never will desire. You’re going to inspire disappointment, and it’s likely the parents will be frustrated if not downright angry with you for not asking first. Therefore, if you’re considering giving a pet as a present, ask first. Yes, it foils the element of surprise but ultimately ensures the gift is wanted and no harm is done to standing relations.

Present with a Price Tag

You don’t want any monetary responsibilities placed on the recipient. Make sure you pay for adoption, medical, or transportation fees associated. For example, some dog pounds charge a small fee for adoption yet the medical bill associated to releasing the canine, ensuring its medical record is up-to-date, could get pricy. Giving a present that warrants substantial and immediate investment becomes more of an economical strain than a present. Moreover, the pet needs toys, a place to sleep, etc, so consider buying dog Christmas ornaments, a scratching post, and other appropriate supplements.

Keep It in the Family

Pet etiquette experts agree that it’s not proper to give pets as gifts to those outside of your immediate family. A pet necessitates a lot of responsibility, and some friends may feel awkward and unable to say no despite not wanting to accept. However, those in your immediate family are much more comfortable to reveal their true wants and feelings. It doesn’t mean a father should go ahead and buy a dog for his son without consulting his wife first. Make sure all people living in the house feel comfortable about the new addition before making your purchase.

Think Twice Before You Buy

Sometimes we’re swept away by an impulse or assumption of what will occur, not thinking of possible repercussions. For example, we’re quick to salivate over a pizza with extra cheese or a double fudge brownie and then curse ourselves about the added calories and weight gain. Sure, the recipient thinking you’re the most incredible and loving person in the world is a nice thought, but think twice before buying a pet as a gift. As above, you may not consider how other family members will feel or how inappropriate it is to give as a gift to someone you hardly know.

Sean Terry has worked closely with many dog owners through his position in a veterinary practice. He enjoys writing about his experiences and offering useful advice and tips. His thoughts are shared on a number of sites frequented by dog lovers.