A puppy or kitten seems like the perfect gift to give a loved one, but keep in mind that a puppy or kitten is for life not for Christmas.

A new pet is a huge commitment and requires a lot of time, patience and training. Every year hundreds of puppies and kittens will be abandoned or surrendered.

Before you gift a pet

We ask you to consider a few thing before buying a pet for someone you love.

Does the recipient really want a new pet?

A new pet is a big responsibility, particularly for children. A pet is not disposable and cannot be returned if they get bored, can’t handle it, or the novelty wears off. A pet is for life.


Have they got the time to properly train and care for a puppy?

Work and social life can take up more time than we realise and puppy need a lot of time and attention.

Can they afford the upkeep of a puppy, such as food, vaccinations and vet visits?

A puppy can be very expensive. Think about puppy classes, bedding, toys, flea/tick/worm treatments etc.


Is their house suitable for a kitten?

Cats are notorious scratchers. To keep their paws healthy, cats scratch to shed their outer nail to reveal the fresh claw underneath. If they are not interested in scratching posts, this may have a detrimental impact on house furniture and fixtures. Indoor cats will also require a litter box which will need to be regularly maintained.

Are they allergic to cats?

Many people are fine with short-haired cats but can suffer allergic reactions from long-haired cats.

Have you considered a rescue?

Adopt, don’t shop. After the Christmas period, there is always an influx of animals in rescue shelters. Make a dog or cat’s Christmas (and life) by giving them a forever home.

If you decide to get your loved one a pet this Christmas, do your research and be prepared to take on the responsibilities of the animal should that be necessary.

View a list of pet shelters and rescue agencies