Helpful tips for giving a pet as a gift this holiday season

Local News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — If you are thinking about giving or getting a new furry family member this holiday season, there are some things you need to consider.


  • Never surprise the recipient. It’s best to let them know ahead of time that you are thinking about gifting them with a pet because a pet is a full-time commitment.
  • If you choose to gift a family with a pet, make sure to set up a meet and greet with the animal. It’s important to know if it is a good fit.
  • Before the pet enters their new forever home, make sure it’s pet ready. Having the necessary supplies will help the new furry family member with the transition.

“Doing a little prep work will help make the flow a little bit better when bringing that animal into your home. We always tell people you always have to give the animal two to three weeks to decompress,” said Lisa O’Neill, Executive Director of Angels of Assisi.

Experts say puppies and kittens may be adorable, it’s best to avoid an impulse buy. After all, a pet is a full-time financial and emotional commitment.

Before paying for a pet for a friend or family member, ask yourself, does the recipient have the time for daily exercise and interaction with the animal, as well as the space to accommodate a pet?

However, if you’re the one receiving the fluffy gift and don’t feel ready to be a pet parent, it’s okay to say no.


  • Thank the giver. Remember it’s the thought that counts. When declining the gift, be honest, respectful, and considerate of the gift-giver’s feelings.
  • Decline the gift. Most purchased pets do have a return policy.
  • Accept the gift and find the pet a good home. Screen the potential owners or you can relinquish the pet to a shelter.

If buying a pet as a Christmas present doesn’t work out, you can also make a donation to an animal shelter in that person’s name.

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