While animals are wonderful they do require a lot of care and are a long-term commitment (12+ years), not to mention the financial outlay involved.
The decision to get a pet should not be taken lightly and should never be made for another person.
While the list of rescue pets in need of a home increases, giving one as a gift is unfair to the pet and new owner. Here are 5 reasons why you should never give pets as gifts.
1. Pets are expensive
While you may have fitted the bill for the pet, there are more costs to consider. From food to training, grooming and vet bills, pets require a lot of care and vet bills can easily go into the thousands. These costs aren’t once off and prices will go up.
2. Pets are time-consuming
Pets need attention daily, some require walks and puppies and kittens need to be trained, which is a lot of hard work.
It is important to take your schedule into account before getting a pet. If you leave for work early in the morning and only return late at night, then a pet is not a good idea. Pets need to be a priority.
3. The festive season is not a good time to get pets
When you get a new pet it is important that you bond with the pet and give it enough attention to make its transition easier.
Over the festive season, most people go away, which could mean you put your friend in the awkward position of having to try and find a pet sitter at the last minute.
It is also difficult to establish a routine, which is very important for a new pet. People are visiting each other, partaking in activities and generally not following a schedule.
4. Your choice is not necessarily the right choice
While your friend may have hinted that they want a pet, you could be wrong. A pet is a very personal choice and there are a lot of things to consider when choosing a pet.
From the environment in which the pet will live to their temperament – these are all decisions that should be left up to the pet owner.
5. Make a difference in other ways
If you want to help a rescue pet, rather donate to a shelter on behalf of your friend. Many shelters offer the option to adopt a pet for a year for a certain amount. This way you know that you are doing the best for the animal.
Pet supplies are expensive, so rather buy these so that when the person does get a pet they are set up for it. Buy toys, food, grooming vouchers, brushes, etc.
Info provided by Pet Food Industry Association of Southern Africa’s (PFI). For more info visit www.pfisa.co.za