Should you give pets as presents?

07 July 2019 | Life Style

Many people choose to give pets as gifts as an expression of love for a partner. But, owning a pet is for life and not just for a special occasion.

“I would encourage gift givers to avoid purchasing pets as gifts unless they are sure that the recipient is willing and able to take care of the pet,” says Adrian Goslett of RE/MAX Southern Africa. “They should also carefully consider whether the recipient has the space to accommodate a furry friend – especially if they're living in a sectional title, as these kinds of complexes usually have strict rules against pets”

Below are a few more factors he advises you consider before you string a bow on some puppy's head:

• Do they have outdoor space?

If the recipient of your gift has expressed a desire to own a pet, they don't necessarily need to have a large garden. However, if they don't, then you should consider smaller breeds that need less exercise. The recipient will need to have a small outdoor space either on the property or nearby in the form of a park or communal outdoor space where they can take the dog out for walks and some fresh air.

• Do they have the time?

Gifting a person with a puppy is a lot like gifting them with a new born baby. Make sure that the recipient has the time to puppy-train and look after the pet when it's grown. If the recipient travels frequently, then find out if they live near pet-sitting services. Otherwise, be prepared to volunteer your own services for when they are away.

• Do they have the cash?

Owning a pet is expensive. Pet food alone can add hundreds of dollars to your grocery bill. Make sure that the recipient can afford the commitment. Pets can also be destructive and messy. Make sure the recipient isn't the type who spent a fortune decorating their home and would hate to see paw prints and bite marks on their custom-made leather sofas.

“It can be incredibly traumatic for a pet to be plucked from home to home, so if you do decide to give pets as a present, just be sure that the recipient is on board with the idea,” Goslett concludes.