Here’s What You Said: Pets as gifts

12-11-you-said.gifA pet popping out of a box under the Christmas tree is a nostalgic image, very Norman Rockwell-ish, so in our November newsletter we asked if you had ever received a pet as a gift.

Most of you, it turns out, chose your own pets, and there’s a good reason to let your gift recipients do that.

As a person searches for the “right” pet, a special connection often springs up between a particular pet and his or her potential guardian. We hear over and over, “It was love at first sight.” So if you “gift” a pet, you risk taking that special instant connection out of the equation.

After the jump: The RIGHT way to give pets as gifts.

Instead of a live pet under the tree, consider giving your friend or
loved one a Pet Promise Certificate. It promises that you will pay the adoption fee
for a pet. To present the certificate, you can attach it to a collar, leash, pet toy
or a stuffed animal. Then, in the calm after the holidays, the recipient
will be able to make his or her own decision about a pet. If the pet is for a child, you can help educate him or
her about the responsibilities of having a pet and the long-term nature
of the commitment. You can also “bone” up on appropriate breeds for your
family’s lifestyle.

Meanwhile, you might want to give a pet a “test drive” by participating in our
Foster A Lonely Pet for the Holidays program. No long-term commitment,
but by the time the holidays are over, you’ll know if the pet you’ve been fostering is a match for you.

Thanks to
those of you who responded to our newsletter question. Check out next
month’s question: Subscribe to the Petfinder newsletter.

Previous Here’s What You Saids:

Why do you volunteer with homeless pets?

Why is your adopted dog amazing?

Why your imperfect pets are perfect for you

Where do you travel with your pets?

Does your pet help you stay in shape?

Did you save your cat’s life?

Your unusual pets

How you volunteer to help pets

Your pets’ social networking

Your pets’ best tricks

Pets with celebrity names

Your stories of fostering pets, tips and more!

Your inspiring stories about less-adoptable pets

Has pet insurance ever saved your pet or your wallet?

How do you make traveling with pets easier?

Have you ever had a lost pet returned?

What are your tips and tricks for moving with a pet?

Was it love at first sight with your pet?