Do Pets Make Good Gifts?

There seems to be at least one commercial every winter showing a puppy with a big red bow around its neck or peeking its cute little face out of a shiny box.  There is a warm fire glowing in the fireplace in the background, and it looks merry and bright.  What they don’t show is the puppy lifting its leg and “going potty” on the Christmas tree, tearing apart unopened gifts, and knocking down the baby.

Giving an animal as a gift may seem like a great idea.  It seems to be puppies at Christmas, kittens on birthdays, and bunnies at Easter.  There are some things to remember before giving a pet as a gift.  Never give a pet as a gift to a child that isn’t yours without first checking with the parents!  If the parents don’t want a pet for some reason or there are allergies in the family, then you are just setting the child up for the heartbreak of having the new pet given back to the giver.

If the child is yours or you have gotten permission from the child’s parents, there are still some things to keep in mind.  Animals are long-term commitments.  They aren’t a new boyfriend or girlfriend that you can break up with a week later if you don’t like how things are going.  A good pet owner should have their pet for the duration of its life.  Obviously, the life expectancy depends upon the type of animal.  For dogs, the life expectancy will also depend on the breed.  For example, a dwarf bunny can live ten to twelve years.  A housecat has an average lifespan of twelve to eighteen years.  Dogs vary based on breed, as mentioned above.  The average lifespan of a Great Dane is eight to ten years while the average lifespan of a Shih Tzu is ten to sixteen years.  As you can see, the minimum you will probably have any of these pets is eight years!  That is a serious commitment.

Another major thing to consider when purchasing a pet for yourself or someone else is the overall cost.  Even if you rescue a pet from the shelter (which is awesome!), they have lifelong costs apart from the fact you got them for free or at a low cost.  One woman who has a rescued Shih Tzu jokes that her pup is “the most expensive free dog ever” because she has allergies and requires daily allergy medication, hypoallergenic dog food, and fairly frequent vet visits!  She doesn’t regret having her little rescue pup, but not everyone can afford these extra costs.  You just don’t always know what health issues or injuries may occur during a pet’s lifetime.  Even if your pet is healthy, you will have the cost of food and regular vet visits along with immunizations.

So, we encourage you not to give a pet as a gift unless you are one hundred percent certain that everyone is ready for the expense and commitment.  The love of a pet is unconditional and they deserve no less than your best.  If you do get a pet, then you should consider giving us a call to install a beautiful aluminum fence for your yard!  At Tripod Aluminum we specialize in building quality aluminum fencing for your yard or property.  If you are unfamiliar with aluminum fencing, then you should check out our website for pictures.  It looks like beautiful wrought iron but DOESN’T rust!  If you are in the Melbourne, Cocoa, Palm Bay, or Merritt Island area and need a fence to keep your beloved pet in the yard, then please give us a call today!

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