A pet can be a cute and cuddly gift that keeps on giving, but is the new owner willing to give back and provide their new pet with the loving home it needs?
Giving someone a new pet as a gift may seem like a great idea, but make sure that you do the research to find out what type of immediate and long term care these pets need before committing to the idea and to avoid unwanted surprises.
A puppy as a gift
We have all seen television shows in which a cute little puppy pops out of a box underneath the Christmas tree, and the whole family happily gathers around to play, but it never mentions the extra costs and hassle that this cute little pup might bring to the table. Puppies require not only a lot of time but also a lot of supplies and upkeep. Grooming, walking, training, and cleaning up after may be a little more than the receiver bargained for.
Purchasing a small pet as a gift
Even something as small as a pet goldfish or hermit crab can be a bit overwhelming for the recipient of the gift once they discover the mandatory cleaning and housing requirements.
Goldfish and hermit crabs can both be won at carnivals or sold at fairs under the assumption that they are low maintenance pets and great starter pets for children. Most people do not know that goldfish should be housed in larger tanks rather than a bowl to avoid stunting their growth and lifespan. Even a carnival goldfish can grow up to a foot long. Setting up a fish tank can cost a lot of money and requires weekly upkeep.
Hermit crabs do not require a large amount of space. However, they do love to climb and, despite their name, love to be in groups. They require a habitat that is large enough to accommodate the crab plus all of his essential supplies. Hermit crabs need both freshwater and saltwater, a heat source, and high humidity levels to survive. Even a small habitat with all the essentials can cost more than fifty dollars.
Best pet to purchase as a gift?
A Betta fish could be a great choice for someone who is looking to give a pet as a gift. Bettas do not take up much room, require minimum maintenance, and can add personality to any living space or office. Plus, you can easily purchase all of the essentials without leaving any additional expenses for the person receiving the gift.
Where can I find basic information on Pet Care?
Searching the internet or reading a book about the care of a specific pet can sometimes seem overwhelming. Check your local pet stores for care sheets or fact sheets on pets that you are interested in. These sheets will give a basic breakdown of what you need to know right away. These reference sheets will list the essential supplies needed so that you can easily calculate the amount of money that you or the recipient will have to spend to maintain these pets.
We have a growing list of Complete Beginners Guides on this blog:
Before you give someone a pet as a gift, make sure that you check all of your resources and find out as much as you can about the proper care and housing of the animal in advance to avoid giving someone a gift that will make them pay.