Christmas is a time for giving, and it’s a period where we like to spend quality time with our loved ones and surprise them with gifts. It is also the time of year where a lot more pets are rehomed and adopted, as they are often given as gifts on Christmas Day. Whilst this may seem like a lovely surprise, and also gives an animal a brand new, loving home, there are lots of things to consider before making a big decision like this. Having a pet and looking after it is a huge responsibility every single day. Sadly, it is quite common that shortly after Christmas, people give up pets they have received as they are unable to take care of them or commit to the responsibility. Therefore, these poor animals then have to go back to somewhere like a shelter and wait until they are adopted into a new and loving family. 

Having a pet is a big commitment, so here are some things to consider before buying a loved one a pet for Christmas…


Is the person able to care for an animal?

This is probably the most important thing when it comes to getting a loved one a pet for Christmas. You should know that owning a pet is definitely what they want, and that they are in a position where they are able to fully take on the responsibility of owning a pet both physically and financially. Otherwise, it is unfair to the animal, as they could potentially face neglect, or on the other hand, be given up shortly after they settle into the home with their new family, which can be very distressing and upsetting. 


Have they expressed a desire to own a new pet?

We would advise that you only ever get a pet for someone, or for a family, if you know they definitely want one and have actively expressed a desire to have one. Furthermore, if you know they are planning to get a pet, this will indicate that it’s what they really want and that they’re in a position to look after one. If you know they want a pet, you should also know what particular animal this is. For example what type of animal, breed, gender, age etc. There are endless things to be considered before you buy a pet for somebody.


Owning a pet comes at a price…

When you have a pet, whether this is a dog, cat, budgie, hamster, anything – it quite literally comes at a cost. With any pet, there are financial costs, with things such as veterinary bills, food, bedding and cages, toys, and even the cost of paying someone to look after them when necessary. All of these things can come as a bit of a shock to new pet owners, and they may not be prepared for it. Therefore, if you are considering buying somebody a pet this Christmas, you must make sure it is what they want and that they are able to take on the financial responsibility. 

Furthermore, owning a pet also comes at a cost in terms of sacrifice. Particularly with animals like dogs, there are lots of sacrifices that need to be made, and you need to find alternative ways to work around things. For example, going away on holiday means you will need someone to care for them, or perhaps if you and your family are out all day at work, you need to ensure that you can get somebody to look after them. Caring for your pet takes priority over things that before were no issue at all. 


Although pets are wonderful and it could make a loved ones Christmas if you were to give them one, you must take everything into consideration and ensure that it is the right thing to do. Whoever is receiving the pet must be willing to dedicate everything to caring for them, including the financial responsibilities, as well as being loving and compassionate and giving time to them.