Should You Gift a Pet For Christmas? 8 Things to Think About First

Have you ever received a gifted pet? I have, and while that cat would become my soul kitty, I definitely wasn’t prepared for the kitten’s immediate needs or the long-term responsibilities of a pet, especially as a college student who would end up moving across the country. 

Unlike material things, dogs (or cats) as gifts require lifelong dedication, financial investment, and considerable attention. As the gift that truly keeps giving, pets will significantly impact the recipient’s lifestyle, potentially for the next decade or more. The best rule of thumb is to never surprise someone with a pet; always have discussions before to make sure everyone is on board with the new furry family member.

Here are eight questions to ask yourself before gifting someone a pet this holiday season to ensure pets find—and stay in—their forever homes. Plus, you might prevent potential conflicts and resentment with your loved ones.