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4 Tips on Giving Pets as Gifts

4 minutes
If you give a pet as a gift to another person, you must make sure that the animal is going to be well cared for.
4 Tips on Giving Pets as Gifts
Last update: 05 December, 2018

There is a strong debate regarding giving a pet as a gift because it’s considered that a living being should not be wrapped in a bow as birthday or Christmas present. However, many people still choose to give a dog or cat to their children or a relative instead of a toy or clothes. Read this article to look at some tips about giving pets as gifts.

A pet as a gift?

Before giving a pet as a gift to your children — or to any other person — you must consider certain important issues:

1. A pet lives several years

Unlike a toy or a jacket, the animal will be by their side for several years. If you plan on giving as a present, then make sure you think about the future.

2. A pet isn’t a toy

For this reason, it’s not recommended to give a pet as a Christmas or birthday gift to small children. It’s easy for them to get confused and consider it as a toy.

3. A pet has needs

All pets need food, love, shelter, health, comfort, and care. Dogs, cats or any other pet always needs your attention, so it’s essential to be responsible with them.

4. A pet costs money

This doesn’t only mean it costs money to pay for a pedigree dog but also the expenses associated with having a pet. For example, food, vaccines, toys, bed, collar, veterinarian, etc.

5. A pet can’t be abandoned

This is very important and everyone must consider this if they want to give a pet as a gift. It’s not like any other gift that can be discarded or abandoned on the street. If the person you give the pet to can’t take care of it, then you’ll be responsible for finding it a better home.

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Tips on giving a pet as a gift

Now since you know that having a pet like a Golden Retriever or Dalmatian requires responsibility, it’s time to consider some specific questions or tips on giving them as a gift:

1. Verify the other person’s intention

Maybe you have thought of giving a pet to your son or your grandfather because “it would be nice for them to have a dog”. However, you don’t know if they really want a pet or are prepared to take care of one. The surprise is nice, but it’s better to be sure that the other person is interested in that sort of present.

2. Make sure the animal is healthy

Whether you buy a dog or adopt a stray in a shelter, you must make sure that the animal is in good health. This doesn’t mean that old or sick dogs are not a valid option, but, if that is the case, you should definitely talk to whomever will receive it to know if they’re capable of taking care of it.

3. Include everything they need

As mentioned before, taking care of a pet is expensive. Therefore, when giving a pet as a gift you should also provide the receiver with several things that they’ll need in the future: food, a shelter, toys, accessories, etc. Also, help them out with taking the pet to the vet and paying for the vaccines or initial medical treatments.

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4. Teach them about the animal’s care

It doesn’t take an expert to grow a healthy and strong pet. However, some people don’t know what they need because they don’t have any experience or knowledge about pets.

When giving a dog or cat as a gift it would be nice you provide some tips to the receiver, mainly related to the responsibility and commitment of taking care of a living being.

You could even offer to housebreak the animal, clean up their messes or take them for a walk to the park.

Before making the decision to give a pet as a gift, analyze the situation well and, above all, the person who will receive the gift.

Just because your child desperately asks you for a dog or you have read that it’s good for their development, doesn’t mean you should give them a pet. Everyone in the household will have to do their share in taking care of the animal.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

Ortega-pacheco, A. (2001). La sobrepoblación canina: un problema con repercusiones potenciales para la salud humana. Medicina Veterinaria.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.