Known as ‘breathing gifts’, puppies look adorable in the window of a pet shop, but giving someone a pet for a gift can turn out being a nightmare for both the owner and the pet. Giving a breathing gift to a child places responsibility on his young shoulders. Animals are living beings and not an inanimate object to throw in the closet when you tire of playing with it.


Caring for yMini and FoxyCredit: Rayda Jacobsour pet – According to the Humane Society in the United States most pets born in the country do not reach their second birthday. Giving someone a pet as a gift is irresponsible as you do not know whether the animal will fare well with the family and how it treated. When the children grow bored or lose interest in the pet it is left to run loose and becomes prone to danger such as carting, starvation, or even euthanasia . Buying a pet for your child involves a lifelong commitment and you should not undertake it if you cannot see it through to the end; a child cannot be saddled with such a responsibility.


Rights and responsibilities – Never buy a puppy for someone unless the recipient has agreed beforehand that he or she will take care of all the pet’s needs. A five-year-old child can run and play with the animal but cannot take on this responsibility; the parent has to.

  • Spell out to both the child and the parent that the dog needs food and water and a daily walk and his droppings picked up.
  • The dog needs a vet and treatment when it becomes ill. Have the owner register the pet in his name and make it legal. Remember, your pet cannot speak for itself; it relies on you for his nourishment and well-being.
  • The animal is not a toy and is a living breathing being which needs a human touch and affection. It is no good you get a dog, shower it with affection, and then for a week forget about it. Pets have to eat and drink and exercise every day. Much as you need the gym for toning up your dog needs his run in the park.
  • Speak to the children and tell them you are not going to add a dog to the family if they cannot commit to share the responsibility.
  • Love your pet and treat it well. Your dog will love you for it and be your lifelong friend and protector.