Although there has been an increase in demand for the adoption and fostering of pets during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has also been an uptick in the number of animals being surrendered, according to several animal shelters. Unfortunately, this uptick may increase after the holiday season, as oftentimes ‘’gift” pets are surrendered as their owners cannot or will not look after them.
While pets have proven to be great companions amid the pandemic—providing entertainment, comfort, and stress relief—there are many things to consider prior to gifting a cat or dog to a friend or family member this Christmas. These considerations include pet care costs, owner commitment, and species/breed-pet owner compatibility.
In a new report by Mars Petcare, parent company of BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, investigators found that some pet owners have faced financial challenges throughout the pandemic, with 20% of pet owners having considered giving up their pets in 2020, and 13% actually doing so. With this information in mind, BluePearl is stressing the many things to consider prior to gifting a furry companion this holiday season.
Owning a pet is a long-life responsibility. If you are thinking about gifting a cat or dog this Christmas, seriously consider the costs, including the unexpected, the owner’s lifestyle, and other factors associated with pet ownership.
Once you have done your research and are sure the recipient is ready and willing to care for a new dog or cat, take the next steps. To ensure the best care possible, you may also want to include information on pet health insurance and/or a pet supplies gift card to help alleviate some of the owner’s costs during the first few months of pet ownership.