Thanksgiving is this week, which means that Black Friday is just a few days away. Black Friday officially kicks off the Christmas shopping season. And if you’re like most people, giving the perfect gift for the holidays is exactly what you want to do.

But if you’re a pet lover, the thought of buying a pet for a Christmas gift might run across your mind. Being fellow pet lovers ourselves, giving the gift of a pet is an excellent idea. However, just as it is with all gifts, there are some pros and cons to consider before making a final decision.

Listed below are just a few pros and cons to consider before you decide to buy a pet as a Christmas gift.

Pros

Pets Are Great for Companionship. Both dogs and cats are great companions. There’s a reason why dogs are called “man’s best friend.” Just as you’ve experienced fun and happiness with your own fur baby, buying a pet for someone else can bring a lot of joy into their life too.
Pets Are Great Protectors: Dogs and cats are natural gatekeepers. Their curious nature allows them to stay on top of things by letting you know that someone is in your yard or front door – even warn you and your family if there is an emergency brewing such as a fire or unusual smoke. Having a dog or cat around can not only protect your family but could even save your life.
They Keep You Active: According to recent studies, people who have pets tend to be more active, especially dog owners who routinely walk their dog. This means that having a pet can improve your overall health. That’s a double plus in our book.

Cons

Pets Are Not Free. In a perfect world, pets would be free. Unfortunately, the world we live in, there are costs associated with owning pets. The true cost of having a pet – from regular veterinarian checkups to things such as collars, cages, boarding when you’re out of town, pet sitting and dog walking fees, just to name a few; the first-year cost for owning a dog or a cat is over $1,000.
Allergies. According to a study by the ASPCA, more than 20 percent of pets are given up due to allergies. If you’re thinking about giving a pet to a family member or friend, find out if they have any allergies that would prevent them from having a pet. There are many people around the world who would love to have a pet but are not able to due to allergies.
Pets Require Time. Outside of water and money, time is everyone’s most valuable asset. And when it comes to pets, it requires a lot of time to properly care for them. So the thing to do here is to consider the person’s lifestyle that you’re considering purchasing a pet for.
One of the most important questions you can ask is: will this person have time for a pet? If the answer is yes, probably the most important question you should ask is if the person wants a pet?

You see, whether it’s a dog or cat, both require substantial time commitment for playtime, feeding time, and even sick time.

These are just a few pros and cons for buying a pet as a Christmas gift. Whatever you decide, happy holidays to you and your family.