A furry friend may seem like the perfect gift this Christmas, but there are no guarantees that the recipient will love the pet, or the work that goes with caring for it. File picture
A furry friend may seem like the perfect gift this Christmas, but there are no guarantees that the recipient will love the pet, or the work that goes with caring for it. File picture

Pets don't always make good Christmas presents

By Raphael Wolf Time of article published Dec 14, 2016

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Cape Town - Giving pets as festive season gifts to people is often not a good idea, despite the good intentions of animal lovers who do so, says the Pet Food Industry Association of South Africa.

Pets should not be given as festive season gifts, the association spokeswoman Dominique Kuhlmann said, because caring for pets is a huge responsibility and lifelong commitment not to be taken lightly, or be made for another person. “To give an animal as a gift is doing (animals) a huge disservice, not to mention putting the receiver of the gift in a very difficult position.

"(Because) as a gift, there is no cost to the recipient when receiving the animal. However, the costs involved in caring for a pet over their entire lifetime are huge.”

Costs include feeding a good quality diet, annual

vet checkups, pet medical

aid, emergency vet visits,

regular tick and flea-control, accessories, grooming and training costs, said Kuhlmann.

Donors often overlooked the recipient’s budget, or ability to afford the necessary things to care for a pet.

Even if a donor feels an intended recipient would benefit from the companionship of a pet, such as a dog or cat, she said, there should first be a discussion with the recipient on whether a pet would be a welcome gift.

“Your choice is not necessarily the right choice. Even if you’re right about the receiver of the gift wanting a companion, the choice you make may not be the right one.

“Many factors go into matching the right type, or breed of pet to an individual, and it’s not a choice to make on behalf of someone else.

“One needs to consider the type of pet preferred, the environment and space available, the pet/breed’s individual needs and the time available to interact with the pet. That's why one should never make impulsive decisions when."

Cape Times

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