Bunny in a basket

Rabbits and Chicks are dropped off at shelters weeks following Easter

Pets as Easter Gifts


  Author, Dorinne Whynott, Owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc.

With Easter approaching and everyone getting their shopping done, there is one thing that should not be on the gift giving list; and that is surprising someone with a pet as an Easter gift. While it may initially seem like a good gesture to give someone a pet as a present, it usually doesn’t end very well for the animal. Many times the pets given as presents are unwanted and usually end up at shelters.

Pets that are mostly given at Easter include, but not limited to; ducklings, rabbits, kittens, chicks and puppies. So many people think that these animals are cute gifts to give, and they fit the Easter theme. While it’s true that these pets can make wonderful companions and bring untold joy, they’re a huge responsibility. It usually means a long term commitment, energy and money, which might exceed one’s abilities. When the recipient finds it difficult to care for the pet, they usually decide that the pet is better off somewhere else, like an animal shelter. Unfortunately, the fact that the “gift pets” end up at animal shelters is not really the fault of the owner or the animal, it is your fault for giving that person the surprise pet. That said, lets now take a closer look at some of the reasons why it’s not a good idea to give a pet as an Easter gift;

1. Pets Should Never Be Surprises
No matter what type of pet(s) you are planning to surprise a loved one with, it is never a good idea. Pets, especially puppies, are a long term commitment, and it takes lots of preparation to be ready for such responsibility. For instance, before any pet is brought in, pet proofing and such other preparations need to be done. Moreover, pets need routine care like providing food, water, clean bedding, playtime, daily exercise, grooming, and regular veterinary check ups. Without adequate preparation and safe guarding, the animal can be at risk. Saddling a loved one with the burden of caring for the pet that they are not prepared for, will make them have to surrender the pet to an animal shelter.

2. Requires a Lifestyle Change
Living with pets creates a lifestyle change. Somebody who lives alone might actually prefer the solitude, and might not want the responsibility of having to care for an animal. Pets generally require routine care, and the recipient might not want to change their current lifestyle to accommodate the pet. In addition to that, the recipient’s lifestyle may not be best suited to give the animal the care and attention needed. For instance, if the recipient’s work schedule requires them to be away from home all day, and can’t afford to hire a pet sitter, the new pet might suffer from separation anxiety. In such situations, the recipient usually ends up surrendering the pet to an animal shelter.

3. There’s a Huge Financial Responsibility
The costs which are involved in caring for the pet, throughout their lifetime, are quite huge. Some of the costs include, but not limited to, food and pet supplies, annual veterinarian checkups, pet medical aid, grooming and training costs, among such other expenses. The recipient might not be willing or able to invest in the care and maintenance needed. Surprising someone who’s financially unable or unwilling to care for the pet is not fair to that person, or to the pet.

4. Your Choice of Pet isn’t Necessarily the Right Choice 
Well, even if you are right about the recipient wanting a pet as a companion, the choice you make might not be the right one for them. There are many factors that go into matching the right type of pet to the individual, and it is not a choice that you can make on behalf of somebody else. Some of the things to consider can include, but not limited to; type and breed of pet preferred, time available to interact with the pet, the space and environment available for that pet, among such other factors. It is because of such factors that one should never give pets as Easter gifts. A poor fit can mean the pet is sent to an animal shelter which is usually hard not only on the pet, but also on the person who received the pet as a gift.

5. It’s a Hectic and Busy Time 
Easter is usually a busy time of the year, and thrusting a pet in the mix is never a good idea. Even if you are sure that someone would like receiving a new pet as a present, doing so during the Easter holidays puts extra stress on them and the animal. During Easter celebrations, many families do not have the extra time needed to fully adjust to, and create a proper routine for caring for the new pet. The pet may end up eating the wrong things, escaping from the doors when left open by the visitors, or may even get neglected because there is so much going on during the Easter celebrations.

Alternative Gift Ideas
Instead of giving a pet as an Easter gift, there are many other alternative gifts to give the animal lover in your life. Some of them include, but not limited to

  • Giving them a gift certificate from the local shelter; the certificate covers the pet’s adoption fee, and allows the future pet owner to come in the animal shelter, and choose their very own pet.
  • Arranging for a loved one to volunteer at the animal shelter, or sponsoring a farmed animal on their behalf.
  • Giving them useful pet supplies (that is if they already have a pet), like a cat collar, a leash, a dog bowl, toys, a scratching post, treats, just to name a few.
  • Making a donation to the rescue center on their behalf.
  • Giving them a stuffed animal representing the shelter pet.

For further reading and ideas, please see our article – Pets As Gifts, Is It A Good Idea 




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About the Owner and Professional Pet Sitting Etc

Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional.  She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History. 

Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990. It is an AWARD WINNING business, having been awarded the 2015 Best Pet Sitting , 2015 Best Dog Walker, Business of the Year Awards in 1996, 1997, 2006 and 2010.  It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH.  Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook pageGoogle+ page and more.  They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB, A rating with Angie’s List and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.

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