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What To Know Before Gifting A Pet

Yorkshire Terrier puppy sitting in a gift box.

Roses are red; violets are blue; fill in this blank with any holiday name, is around the corner; what are you going to do?

Gift your loved one a pet?

Some of us are all too familiar with last-minute panic buying, especially when it’s around a popular holiday like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or the big numbered birthday.

Unless you’re a very organized individual, the sudden realization that the special day is just a paw print away might have you feeling panicked and push you to impulse shop.

When you’re brainstorming for gifts, what better way to express your love than the gift of a furry best friend, right?


While gifting your loved one a bouncing ball of fur might seem like the most incredible gift on Earth, there are a few things worth considering before packaging up a new pet with a big red bow. Here’s our list of what to know before gifting a pet.

The Facts About Gifting A Pet

Every year, people gift pets for special occasions without deep consideration for the recipient. As a result, many of these pets end up in shelters or foster care, as the new pet parents weren’t given ample time to think about the ongoing responsibility associated with their new, life-long companion.

Before gifting a pet, it’s imperative to know that the gift receiver is on the same page about bringing home a new addition to your family.

So to help guide you, here are the most important things to think about before gifting a pet.

Pet Parenting Is A Long-Term Commitment

When you think about long-term commitments, most people think of marriage, going to college, buying a new car, or buying a home. However, you must think of pet parenting as a long-term commitment when gifting a pet.

Whether a dog, cat, bird, fish, or rabbit, pets require a commitment that sometimes can be years long.

The Guinness Book of World Records lists pets and their extended lifespans.

  • Jonathan, the Seychelles giant tortoise, is currently the oldest living land animal. He was born in 1832.
  • The oldest cat on record was a DSH named Cream Puff, who lived to the age of 38 years and 3 days.
  • The oldest dog on record was an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey, who lived 29 years and 160 days.
  • The oldest living rabbit was a wild rabbit in Australia named Flopsy, who lived 18 years and ten months.
  • The oldest parrot to have ever lived was a Major Mitchell’s cockatoo named Cookie, who passed away at 83 years 58 days old.
  • The oldest goldfish ever was Tish, who lived to be 43 years old.

It’s vital to think about the “time commitment” you’re now placing on the recipient of that sweet puppy or crazy kitten. So often, pets are given as gifts on an impulse. The sheer joy of a wiggly little love overshadows the receiver’s ability to think about the 10 to 15-year commitment they were just given.

Discuss Gifting A Pet With The Receiver Before Gifting The Pet

Speak with the gift recipient before you hand over the pet. Just because you think it’s a fantastic idea doesn’t mean they will agree.

Along with time commitments, pets are a significant financial investment. Have you considered if the person you want to give a pet to can cover the ongoing costs associated with their new life companion?

The Spruce Pets estimates the annual cost of a bouncy new pet can be anywhere between $1400 – $4300!

That’s a lot of money for some, and if gifted with this financial responsibility without asking can cause not only stress but a potential re-homing situation in the near future.

Expenses for pets, to name a few,

  • Food
  • Annual Wellness Exams
  • Vaccinations
  • Neutering/Spaying
  • Supplies such as bedding, bowls, toys, and more.
  • Collars and Leashes
  • Training

Giving someone a pet is like handing them a pretty significant annual bill. Do you want to add that financial burden to their life?

Pets Take Time

Being a pet parent takes time: Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. You get the idea.

It’s essential to discuss whether the new pet parent has the appropriate time to give to their new pet.

Pets Require Training

Whether puppy training or kitty proofing your home, all new pets need a period to acclimate to their new environment.

Boundaries need to be set immediately, and both the new pet and the new pet parent need to work together to create a satisfying, copasetic relationship.

Consider if you have enough time and money to commit to daily training. Puppies, in particular, require guidance and training from day one. Where to go to the bathroom, walk on a leash, not chew, dig, jump, and bit. Socialization with other dogs and exploring their indoor and outdoor environment is also critical.

Kittens require less training than puppies, but they still need to learn what’s allowed and not allowed in the home. For example, they need to understand what can be used as a scratching post, where their litter tray is, and how to socialize appropriately so they don’t scratch or bite family members with force.

Gifting someone a pet is a big commitment. If they don’t have the resources to train their pet properly, it will only lead to frustration for both owner and pet.

Pets Need Space

Pets need space, and if the recipient of a new pet doesn’t have enough space, their pet could experience quality of life issues.

Both dogs and cats need space to live comfortably. More energetic breeds of dogs need room to run and play, and if there isn’t any available space nearby, that could lead to problems down the road.

Before gifting someone a cuddly pet, ask yourself seriously if the pet will have enough space to live a happy, healthy, long life.

So, if you aren’t sure about any or all of the above on our list, we suggest reconsidering giving someone a pet as a gift. These are important issues to discuss before bringing a new family member home.

Remember, responsible pet ownership begins before bringing your new family member home.

Our View On Gifting A Pet

Miami Pet Concierge recommends gifting someone with a pet only if the recipient has expressed a sustained interest in owning one and can care for it responsibly.

We recommend that pets be obtained from animal shelters, rescue organizations, or responsible breeders—not from places where the source of the animal is unknown or untrusted.

Should the recipient be under the age of 15, the child’s parents should understand that pet care responsibility will likely fall to them, and they are willing and eager to care for the animal.

If the gift is a surprise, the gift-giver should be aware of the recipient’s lifestyle and schedule—enough to know that the recipient has the time and means to be a responsible owner.

The recipient’s schedule should also be free enough to spend the necessary time to help assure an easy transition into the home. This is especially important during the holidays and other busy times.

Are you considering gifting a pet? Contact us with any questions you may have to help you better prepare. Also, learn more about the services we provide to support the new pet parent and their new pet!

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