Animal Welfare, Education, Pet Care, Worldwide

Learn Why Pets Should Not Be Given As Gifts & The Role Of Breeders In Educating People

dog in santa hat

Learn Why Pets Should Not Be Given As Gifts & The Role Of Breeders In Educating People, responsible gifting has probably never mattered more. A world in upheaval means as the adults in the room, we re think gifting and the long term effects of animal care on the receiver.

family with Christmas puppy

Many people love the idea of seeing a cute, cuddly new pet with a bow around its neck as a gift to someone special for a holiday, birthday, or other celebratory events. The only problem is, pet owners have to brace for an enormous responsibility. Gift-givers have the most beautiful intentions when gifting a pet. However, impulse is usually done without assessing the pet owner’s ability to care for a pet since it is a long-term commitment.

Helpful and responsible breeders work to educate those looking to buy pets as gifts why this is not the best idea. Many people who receive animals as gifts later find that they cannot make the sacrifices necessary for their companion and eventually return the pets to the breeder or, even worse, to a shelter. Animal abandonment is a serious problem, and the last thing you want is for a pet to go unloved in its new home.

Animals deserve to have a quality of life, and unfortunately, being given as a gift tends to make that outcome much less likely to occur. Here are some of the reasons why pets should not be given as gifts to others and the role of breeders in making sure to educate those looking to buy a pet as a gift.

Photo by Anthony Shkraba from Pexels

A Pet is an Expensive Gift

Since pets given as gifts are surprises to those receiving, as excited as the person getting the adorable puppy or sweet kitten may be at first. They don’t always anticipate the debt that comes with taking care of such an animal. Sure, the pet may be “free” initially, but other expenses come with owning it. When you adopt a pet from a shelter you are saving a life, which is a wonderful thing, but there are some costs associated with adoption.

Pets come with many needs, and animal shelters and breeders have a responsibility to whoever is going to take care of them. So instead of making the gift a surprise, you should coordinate a meeting with the breeder or shelter and the person taking care of the pet to go over all of the necessary needs for caring and upbringing.

Pet owners need to be aware of the cost of things like veterinary bills or medical bills, vaccinations, insurance and licensing, and food and other accessories. Prices for these things can be overwhelming for anyone who is not expecting to own a pet or is ill-prepared for the undertaking of being a responsible pet owner.

Pets are NOT Meant as Toys for Children

cat in a Christmas tree

Because pets are such a significant commitment and require a lot of care and responsibility, giving them to children is never a good idea. Any dog breeder will tell you that because of needs like vet care, potty training, obedience training, and more. A child will not be ready or willing to provide all of that to a new pet. Even the most obedient dog breeds still need the necessary training to behave.

It is tempting, seeing the many beautiful depictions of a cute, adorable pet for kids and how children become excited when they receive a pet as a gift. However, sooner rather than later, they become bored and are in no way ready for all that owning a pet entails.

Children only want the fun aspects of being a pet owner – the playing and cuddling, not cleaning up messes or training. Pets are meant to be part of the family, not become discarded toys when they are no longer interesting. So steer clear of the thought that getting a pet is an excellent gift for a child. Instead, pet care can place an undue burden on a young child, the death or illness of a pet due to ‘negligence’ can scar a child. When in fact the child is not to blame, it is given responsibility beyond its years.

Photo by Jessica Lynn Lewis from Pexels

Time is of the Essence

Pets, especially when they are young, need a lot of constant love and attention from their owners. Giving a pet as a gift to people who often travel or work a lot would be an unwelcome gift. It may leave a new pet feeling anxious and most likely develop separation anxiety from lack of time with their owner.

Pets should never be left to themselves for long periods. It is challenging to know people’s schedules and how busy they are – if they will even be home often enough to care for a new pet. This is another deterrent to surprising someone with a pet as a gift.

The holiday season is usually a pretty chaotic and crazy time for people’s schedules as is, so why would you bring a pet into the mix? All it does is create a burden for someone to take care of, and if the pet doesn’t receive enough attention, it may display unwanted behaviors, leading the owner to abandon it or return it. 

Pet Breeders Responsibility

Reputable breeders will take the time to invite you into their home to see where the pets are born and let you meet the animal’s parents. They assess you as much as you evaluate them because they want to ensure that their pets will be good, forever homes. Breeders are responsible for ensuring that you are aware of all of the essential facts that come with owning a new pet. That is why they will strongly deter you from giving a pet as a gift. 

Breeders should also be educating people about special breeds such as Brachycephalic Dog Breeds also known as flat faced dog breeds with short noses and heads. People in general are not aware of the fact that these breeds are more susceptible to various health issues from birth. Some of the common problems they suffer from are difficulty in breathing, eye disease, skin fold infections, fertility issues, and spinal issues. 

While these breeds are certainly one of the cute and unique looking dogs, gifting them can lead to greater challenges that may not work well in favor of these innocent beings as many people are not aware of these issues related to such breeds. Therefore, gifting them at any point of time should be avoided and breeders should be keeping the clients updated in advance.  

Breeders are also fully aware that gifted pets more often than not become returned pets, especially after the holidays. Impulsive purchases may seem like a good decision at the time, but a breeder will advise that doing so never usually works out well for both pet and owner. Pet breeders have a responsibility even to go as far as to decline the purchase of a new animal if they do not believe that it is a good fit.

Don’t surprise them!

If you desire to buy someone a pet because you think they would be a terrific owner, don’t surprise them with a pet as a gift. Instead, bring up the idea on multiple occasions and gauge their interest in owning a pet. Find out all that you can about how responsible they would be as a pet owner and take them to meet a breeder if they are interested. 

It is never a good idea to surprise someone with a pet as a present. Things like costs, responsibility, and time are significant factors in being a reasonable and responsible owner. So instead, opt to buy a stuffed animal for the children or a more practical gift for your friend, and leave the pet buying to the actual owners who are ready and prepared to make that commitment and understand all that goes into pet care so that the pet will have all the love and attention in its forever home. 


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