Fido Wrapped up with a Bow on Top | The Do’s and Don’ts of Giving a Pet as a Holiday Gift

In her latest column, North Bend resident, pet trainer at Le Chic Pet, Melissa Grant, offers up some great advice regarding giving a pet as a holiday gift.  Yes, such a present can create great memories, but it is still a decision that should be made with great forethought and care.


We’ve all seen the touching videos on YouTube of people gifting pets. It’s usually a surprise and always well received.

This time of year it can be tempting to give a fluffy little dog or cat as a holiday gift, but that isn’t always a good idea. Along with that precious purr and waggling tail comes a 15-20 year commitment. No one wants to give an unwanted gift — especially a vulnerable one that lives and breathes.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to help you make sure giving a pet is a gift is a good idea:
  • Do: Give that pet as a gift as a gift but never as a surprise. Always ask up front if the recipient wants a pet.
  • Don’t: Choose a breed, sex, age or temperament for someone else. The person receiving the pet should ALWAYS make those decisions.
  • Do: Get a gift certificate from a shelter or rescue. Don’t worry if you want a purebred many shelters and rescues have a vast array of pets to choose from.
  • Don’t: Give a pet to anyone other than immediate family. A friend may accept the pet as a gift because they don’t know how to say no. A pet involves a lot of emotional, financial and time concerns that should be a family decision.
  • Do: Wait until after the holidays to bring the new pet home. Holidays can be a crazy busy time. Young animals take a lot of time and effort and it may be best to bring them home after the excitement has died down
  • Don’t: Buy a pet on impulse. Sure that dog or cat looks cute in the pet store, but you don’t want to have buyer’s remorse when you get home.
  • Do: Understand that pets are not refundable or disposable. You cannot return the animal if the recipient doesn’t like the color.

If you follow these simple guidelines, you can give the gift of unconditional love this holiday season; make everyone happy; and ensure that this precious, furry gift works out as well as you would hope.

Remember pets aren’t just for Christmas they’re for life! Happy Pawlidays!


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