It’s not uncommon for family members to buy their loved ones a pet as a gift for their birthday. But it’s important to understand that pets are much more than just a gift. Whilst surprising a family member with a new pet for their birthday might at first appear to be a seemingly generous idea, it’s important to understand that pets require the right conditions and proper care to flourish.
A pet is a long-term commitment. A great consideration should be given to whether your family is suitable to welcome one and provide appropriate care.
Pets are complex, sentient beings
It may sound obvious, but it’s worth saying all the same. Pets are living beings and deserve to live a comfortable and secure life that their owner has prepared for. Just like humans, animals have their own unique personalities and feelings.
Studies have also shown that behavioural and chemical cues from humans can affect dogs in many ways. For instance, it enables them to discriminate between different human emotions such as fear, excitement or anger. Buying a pet as a gift when your family might not be able to keep an animal can create a stressful environment for everyone involved, including the pet. A pet can be a wonderful addition to a family home, but only if all members of the household are on board and discussed carefully.
There are various long-term costs involved in caring for a pet
There are many costs associated with owning a pet. Firstly, you have to consider the price in purchasing the pet to begin with. Also, a it is another mouth to feed and so you will have to ensure that all its needs can be met in the long-run.
By giving someone an animal as a gift, you run the risk of the person not being able to pay for these needs. Most of the time, you will need to purchase specialised food. While some animals can eat the food that humans eat, you should be aware of what these are ahead of time. This means you need to consider your weekly shopping budget. But it’s not only the food that you have to think about, but there are also all the other expenses, such as toys, bedding, and other equipment.
Veterinary care can be particularly costly. Even if you can be absolutely sure that the recipient would keep the pet as healthy as possible, there may be recurring veterinary costs that will need to be paid for, such as annual vaccinations. If you give someone an animal as a birthday present, can they afford these bills? Even with the best intentions, vet bills can cost thousands of pounds.
What statistics say
According to Statista, Britons spent approximately £3.8 billion on veterinary fees in total in 2020. Therefore, if you have had a serious discussion with everyone in your household and you do decide that you’re in a position to take on a pet, it’s always useful to get good pet insurance. Petsure offers multiple different insurance policies, covering bills up to £15,000.
Getting a pet is a lifelong commitment. Even if you are in a position to get one, you should consider how much you can afford to spend. Particularly in the event the pet becomes ill! Sit down with your family and consider if you can feasibly raise your pet in a nurturing environment and cover all the long-term costs associated with caring for a pet.