Is it a Good Idea to Give Pets as Gifts?

| December 20, 2022

The idea of a cute puppy, little kitten, or furry bunny popping out of a box with a bow on is adorable. This sort of gift would surely surprise and move those we love. But unlike most gifts, bringing an animal into someone’s home is a lifetime commitment and is a decision that should not be made without discussions, research, and preparation.  

Caring for an animal comes with a lifelong commitment as dogs and cats can live for 15 years. Therefore, it’s important for the family who is interested in adopting to do their homework ahead of time. Caring for a pet requires time, energy, dedication, and money.   

What would happen if the time, energy, dedication, and money commitment was more than what your loved one could handle? A poor match affects the adopted pet– and the ones caring for them. Animals may be returned, and pet parents may be heartbroken.  

When it’s Appropriate to Surprise Someone with a Pet 

If your household has had many discussions about bringing a pet home and has agreed that they can commit to the responsibilities of caring for a pet, then surprising them with a pet could be appropriate.  

When You Should Skip the Surprise  

Match making is important. We want pet parents to be ready for this life-changing commitment – and that is why they should make the decision of which pet to bring home. Even if you know your best friend, cousin, or close co-worker wants a pet, all pets and people have different needs.  

A high-energy dog may not be a great fit for someone who enjoys binge watching TV every evening. A shy cat may not be a great fit for someone who enjoys regularly throwing soirées. A bunny that does not enjoy being handled or picked up may not be a great fit for a family with young children. 

Like any time of the year, we want every adoption, every match made, to be successful for everyone. We hope for a strong human-animal bond to be formed and a lifelong journey of friendship to grow. But this life-changing decision should be made by those who are ready to embark on this journey.  

If you’d like to give your loved one a pet, we encourage you to invite them to see the animals available for adoption. If an instant connection is made, with their consent, you can cover the adoption fee as a gift. It won’t be a surprise, but it’ll still be one of the greatest gifts with a lifetime of joy and happiness.