Purchasing an animal as a gift this holiday season may seem a good idea, but it’s super important to consider all the pros and cons before putting money down on a pet.

At Premier Pet Supply, we’re very cautious when we adopt out animals. We want to make sure each family is prepared for the responsibility they’re taking on. I cannot stress enough that owning an animal can be a tremendous amount of work.

But if you’re set on tying a bow around a four-legged Fido for a friend or family member this holiday season, there is a lot to take into consideration.

For starters, it’s important to have full understanding of a pet’s most basic needs — including food, medical attention, and exercise needs.

If you’re going the furry route, consider the various breeds of dogs and cats. With each breed comes various personality traits and energy levels. Does the gift receiver spend a lot of time inside playing video games? Maybe purchasing them a high-energy Border Collie pup isn’t the way to go. Make sure you match the receiver’s personality with the animal personality.

Another thing to consider it that owning a pet is expensive. Sure, that cute puppy may only cost $100 at the shelter, but the expense does not end there.

According to the ASPCA, the average first-year cost of owning a cat or dog runs between $1,000-$2,000 depending on size. And those are based on the foreseeable costs. The average doesn’t take into consideration potential illness or emergency. As pets get older and their health deteriorates, the cost will only increase.

A few more things to consider are whether the gift receiver actually wants the pet, and if they have the time and energy to commit to raising it.

Remember that pets are for life, not just Christmastime.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pet store if you have questions on this or any pet-related topic.