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Pets as Gifts?

Considering buying little Billy a new pet as a gift? Think again.

Pets are the worst gifts to receive - especially for children. Unfortunately, many parents think their children can take care of a pet on their own. However, many children lack the responsibility and attention span for a pet. Soon they'll lose interest- you'll be stuck with that pet and off to the animal shelter it goes. And who's fault is it? Yours.


This is what happens when most parents buy their children pets as 'gifts'. In actuality, pets are like children. They have their needs and have to go to the vet when they're sick.

Parents ALWAYS need to remember these rules before purchasing any new pet:

  • Do some extensive research on a pet that you want. Make sure they suit your lifestyle, and try to find out how much care they need and their life expectancy. You can obtain this information from the library or internet. Have your child learn about this new pet, too.
  • Are you financially ready for this animal? Vet bills and pet supplies can run high over a period of time.
  • Buy supplies a week or a few days before you purchase a new pet. Setting up and buying everything the moment you purchase your pet is going to put a lot of stress on your new pet.

As for purchasing a new pet, please adopt instead. These animals need homes much more than the ones in the pet stores.

Good luck!
- Misha

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February 6, 20050 found this helpful


You make several excellent points. Pets are living, breathing, loving, long term commitments. They are members of the family and are no more disposable than a brother or sister. Thank you for reminding us all that pets are living creatures just like us.

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October 11, 20130 found this helpful

I used to work for an animal shelter. Once near Christmas, a couple ladies came in and wanted to adopt a kitten for their son and grandson. The kittens they wanted weren't ready to be adopted out yet, so they got a gift certificate.

When the son/grandson came in to select his gift, he was actually an adult, wearing black leather and chains. He had no interest in the kittens that his family had been interested in. He selected instead a red-point Siamese that was around a year old. The cat had given me a lot of trouble; he didn't like anyone else either. But he definitely liked the man who adopted him! He rubbed and cuddled, never offering to bite or claw. The ladies were somewhat disappointed in the son/grandson's choice, but went along with it. The last I heard as the three people and the cat left the shelter was that he was going to have a black studded collar.

My point is that when giving pets as gifts, you may select a pet that the recipient does not want and which the pet may not like. I think a gift certificate if the shelter offers one is a great idea. Let the new servant, I mean owner/partner/whatever do the selecting. The man in the black leather jacket and the red-point Siamese were a perfect match. They both adored the other.

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