Pets as a gift?.... please think twice
No doubt we at The Camden Hospital for Animals believe pets bring joy and companionship, but they are also a huge responsibility. People who receive a pet as a gift don't pay the initial cost, but there are other factors to consider. It means a long-term commitment of time, money and energy. Among the costs:
- Veterinary care, yearly vaccinations, spay/neuter, and emergency care
- Bedding and toys
- Grooming expenses
- Time to exercise, play with and train the animal
- Boarding or pet sitting costs
For those who are ready for pet ownership, they must choose a pet for themselves to make sure it's a good fit. If things don't work out it can mean the animal is relinquished to a shelter or given to another home. Both of these options are hard on everyone involved. Successful pet ownership requires time and thought. Like a lot of gifts, animals can be impulse purchases. Ideally adopters should research to learn what traits they want before visiting a shelter and making an important decision of choosing a pet.
If you want to help a loved one get a pet, buy that person a gift certificate to use at a one of our great local shelters when the time is right. Pair the certificate with a gift basket filled with all the things a new pet will need: toys, collar, leash, treats, food and bedding, to name a few.
We hope all pets that are given fur-ever homes at the holidays know the real joy of having a lifetime of love and security, not an experience that wears off when the decorations go back in the attic.
If you would like more information on this topic or have others pet care questions we'd be happy to help!