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Giving Pets as Gifts: What You Need to Know

With the holidays approaching, we often wonder what we’re going to get people for gifts. We know what our loved ones love—and what they don’t—and getting them the best present possible is something we strive for. Sometimes, our children or partners or significant others have wanted the same thing that they’ve wanted for years. Usually if this is the case, it’s not a cool tech toy (that will quickly become a tech fad) or new book—if it’s been a gift idea for awhile, it’s usually because they want a pet.


And it makes sense—who wouldn’t want to add a lovable, fluffy, adorable animal to their home? Considering 44 percent of people in the United States own a dog and 29 percent own a cat, over half the population has a lot of love for animals. Having a pet can have tons of benefits, and elevate your life in incredible ways. Yet, there’s a spike in giving pets as gifts over the holidays, and it’s important to understand how that works—and if you should do it at all.


The pet expertise from Royal Pets Market & Resort can offer some advice, solutions, and some cold hard truths to anyone debating getting a pet over the holidays. This can be a decision that changes lives in a positive way, but also one that could lead to disappointment later on. Take a look at some important things to know when giving pets as gifts over the holidays, and stop by one of our pet store locations today! Whether needing dog grooming, a new treat for your cat, or pet boarding services, our St. Petersburg, Apopka, and Palm Harbor locations are here to help!

Think about if they want a pet.

This might seem rather silly to consider, but you genuinely should stop and reflect upon this question. Is there a person in mind that you’re close to that wants a pet? Or are you the one that really wants an animal? If you’re more keen on getting a pet and think the holidays are the perfect time to disguise your desires in the form of a present, you’ll very well be setting yourself up for disappointment (as well as the other person).

Getting a pet, whether as a family or in a relationship, has to be something you’re all ready for. In the spirit of giving, you can’t solely look at your own wishes and also attempt to grant them—only seriously consider giving a pet as a gift if the recipient wants it, and you both are on board.

Decide if it’s your place to give a pet.

If you have a friend who loves dogs more than anything or an officemate who simply adores kittens, this probably is not enough of a connection for you to give them an animal as a gift. A pet is a commitment that usually lasts years, if not decades. This is a life-altering decision that can’t simply be made for somebody else. You know your friends and coworkers best, it’s true. But 99 percent of the time, you should not be giving this type of commitment to somebody that’s not within your immediate family or relationship.

If you have a niece or nephew or cousin who you think might love this type of present, always talk with their family or partner first before making a huge decision for them. If the answer is “no” or “we’re going to do that ourselves,” it is imperative that you respect their wishes and let it go.

Consider who the pet is going to.

You’ve contemplated the first two steps, you’ve spent time figuring things out, and have decided that giving a pet as a gift is something you’re seriously considering. That’s great! The next thing to decide boils down to the recipient of this present.

To start, think about the person’s age. Are they getting to an age where taking care of something is not as easy as it once was? Are they relatively young, and still learning about responsibility? Are they in high school, with plans to move to college after their senior year? All of these things are crucial to helping you think about the type of pet you’re going to get your loved one.

Secondly, consider their current abilities. Is this person able to be relatively physically active? Do they travel a lot for work or leisure, or spend a lot of hours away from home? Taking into account how much time they can spend with an animal is also highly critical to making the best pet decision.

As another important consideration, take into account whether the pet they love and claim to need actually makes sense. Somebody who spends long and/or unpredictable hours at work might not be ready for a dog. A person who enjoys being active might take less joy from owning a cat. And ultimately, keep in mind that if this present is going to your children, you will end up largely responsible for its care. Keep your needs in mind as well!

That’s all for our first installment on giving a pet as a gift over the holidays. Whether you end up getting an English bulldog with a red bow or a pair of kittens for your kids, you can find all the starting materials you need at Royal Pets Market & Resort. Stay tuned for our next blog, and shop at our pet stores in St. Petersburg, Apopka, and Palm Harbor to get your pets stocked up for the holidays and beyond!