Season to be silly, but think before gifting pets
Christmas is great. Family, time off, presents.
And every Christmas some people decide to give pets as presents. This is OK if it is planned and discussed by everyone, and the puppy, kitten, bunny rabbit is looked after long after Christmas is over.
Unfortunately, far too often the person being given the pet is unprepared to look after their living present, and things do not go according to plan. Pets live many years and need attention and care for their whole life not just the Christmas holidays.
Every year pets are given as presents and too many end up at the SPCA or pound because the person given the pet does not have the time, the money or both to look after them properly.
Cats need food, flea and worm treatments and proper vet care. Dogs need all this plus exercise, kennelling, registration, micro- chipping and the extra attention and training to ensure that they end up good dogs, that don’t cause problems or are aggressive.
There is often much guilt had by the person given the pet in these situations when the person who has given the pet is actually the guilty one. For this reason most people keep the pet, however, even if they struggle to find the time or money to look after them. These pets can end up neglected as a result.
If thinking of giving a pet as a present, ensure:
The person receiving the pet as a gift actually wants a pet.
They understand the lifetime commitment to the pet.
Don’t give a pet as a Christmas present to someone who is heading away soon.
Have a back- up plan if things don’t work out (including taking the pet yourself).
Pets provide a huge amount of fun and love when cared for, but they are a huge responsibility too and petownership should never be taken lightly, especially at
Gift or burden? Think carefully before considering giving a pet as a present this Christmas.