We’ve all seen that cute ad during the holiday season — the entire family gathered around the Christmas tree to open presents, when suddenly the kids hear a barking or shuffling noise in one of the boxes. The box starts moving, and the kids jump to unwrap it with anticipation of what could be inside. The camera suddenly switches to the dog’s point of view as it looks up at the it’s new family fighting to get a peak inside the box. Surprise, it’s a puppy!
I’ve been working in the pet industry for almost 10 years, and one big thing I have noticed is that the store gets PACKED around the holiday season. Christmas, along with Easter definitely rank at the top of the list with more than double the people coming through the door to make a deposit for a pet. A fair amount of people who come in at other times also do so looking for a gift for their children or significant others. So, yes, a good portion of our sales depend on pets as gifts. But I’m telling you nevertheless, please, please, please do NOT buy pets for gifts!
First of all, many don’t think it through. The fact that they are cute and would make a great gift is not enough. There is tons to inform yourself of before bringing a pet into your household. Depending on the actual breed of a cat or dog specifically, you really should know all of their traits and needs before purchasing these animals.
What’s to come is usually more about responsibilities and risks than one would expect, especially if you’ve only been thinking about their cuteness. The responsibility is just like having a small child. You have to feed them, clean up after them, play with them, and take them to the doctor’s, just like you would for a child. Not many actually understand that until they are in their lives.
When bringing these little “people” into your home, you’re deciding to give them a life they wouldn’t have had inside the pet store, and anyone willing to do that should also be willing to understand the risks that come with it. When you are giving the pet as a gift to someone else, you are also giving them all the responsibilities and risks that come with it.
The company I work for, like many other pet stores, sells rabbits. And of course during Easter time, rabbits tend to sell out very fast. We actually have a policy that states unless you plan on buying a kit for the rabbit, you are not allowed to buy the rabbit. We want to ensure that you will be buying the rabbit to be an actual pet and not as a motif on the front lawn while the kids are searching for Easter eggs. Trust me, there are plenty of people who buy them for the day and bring them back to the store with no consideration for the animal’s stress level and emotional stability.
These animals have emotions as much as we do, even if they can’t express them the way we do. When becoming a pet parent, one must abide by the same rules of having a child. Just because the holidays are rolling around, and it will look cute under your tree for the day, doesn’t mean you should give a pet as a present. Unless you know for sure that the person you are gifting is capable and willing to take on the responsibility of pet ownership, steer clear of those little fur balls wrapped in ribbons.
OK, so no pets, but there’s still other great gift ideas for the holidays. Download the Hey! VINA app now and plan a holiday shopping trip with your vinas! Our fashionistas community is filled with mall rats 🛍