Squeakers And Stockings – The Pets-As-Presents Debate

IMG_0382We have noticed a lot of debate recently over the giving of pets as presents for Christmas. Though whee know our view is a controversial one, whee feel whee need to fully explain it.

Should pets be presents?

Well we would be hypocrites if we said no. After all, most of us have been birthday or Christmas presents and the first pair of us were a gift from Santa Paws to Mummy.

Does it mean we have suffered terribly and been abandoned to a rescue? Does it mean we have been forgotten or unloved? Nope. None of the above.

IMG_7094Because, contrary to the scaremongers of the internet . . . this doesn’t always happen!

Yes, whee think pets can be presents.

If families sit down to plan and research and it’s not an impulse buy then the majority of pets go on to live happy and fulfilled lives as much loved members of the family.

So how can we deal with the inevitable abandoned pets after Christmas?

Pet shops could ask you to come for information sessions to check you are ready for the pet you are choosing a week before purchase and need proof you attended. Rescues could, instead of closing their doors to potential adopters, do the same. Yes, some animals are abandoned after Christmas but should that stop rescues from giving the chance of a happily ever after to an unwanted pet over Christmas? Our local rescue doesn’t think so and they do brilliant sessions for owners to help them make an informed choice.

IMG_7197Based on this here are the most impawtent things whee think you need to know or think about if you are thinking of welcoming guinea pigs into your family this Christmas:

  • Whee are social animals and need a friend. Two guinea pigs need a minimum of a 120cm cage. Do you have the space for this?
  • Our typical life span can be anything from 5-7 years but some piggies have been known to live long. Whee are not a short term toy, but a long term commitment.
  • Whee need cleaning out regularly to keep us healthy. Do you have the time to do this every other day?
  • We can get sick and go downhill quickly. Vet treatment can be expensive. Can you afford to take us if whee are unwell?
  • Whee are not “low maintenance” pets. Whee require daily health checks and care. Our diet consists of hay, a pellet feed and fruit and vegetables. Our hooman worked out that she spends about £20 a week per pair of piggies. Can you afford this?
  • Though whee make great children’s pets they can sometimes lose interest. Are you, as an adult, prepared to take on the care of these piggies and be ultimately responsible for their welfare? If the answer is no, then get your child a stuffed toy, they don’t suffer when your little darling gets bored.

If your answer was “no” to any of the questions asked then you shouldn’t take on a pet. (You can read more about the basics of guinea pigs in our guide here)

Back to the original question. Yes, pets can be presents at Christmas. Just make sure you know what you are getting into and know we are not disposable.

IMG_7086A pet is for life not just for Christmas. 

They need to be thought out,

Not just bought for the missus.

As festive gifts go,

They can be the best,

But please don’t forget,

They aren’t just a guest.

They’ll be there for New Year,

And Easter, through Spring,

And all through the year,

On you they’ll be relying.

So put lots of thought,

Into your gifts this year,

And we hope you’re as happy,

As we are all here!

6 days to go! Have a great day efurryone

Nacho, Noah, Buddy & Basil


ps. Whee know you may not agree with our view but please keep things respectful in the comments. Whee want to know your opinions but it is Christmas after all!

About hutchagoodlife

Tales and adventures from the hutches of British blogging guinea pigs!

Posted on December 18, 2014, in Piggy Blogs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Kathleen Sturgis

    Perfect advice, especially about kids losing interest. I always tell people who say they are getting a pet for their kids that they had better be willing to take care of the pet themselves. They can’t neglect a pet because their kids lost interest. Though I will admit I am a bit afraid of my son’s scorpion and bearded dragon. I’ll feed them if necessary, but that’s about it!

    • I’m so glad you agree. Yes, a pet can be for a child but the adult is always responsible for the animal’s care and welfare. My Dad claims to not like animals but he fed my guinea pigs veggies once when I had an accident. It’s about making good decisions and choices


  2. I so agree with you and I hope the people will understand that we are a gift but for life :o)

  3. Easy is so right so we say DITTO. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  4. I totally agree with you, I just wish everyone was this sensible – then our rescues wouldn’t be nearly so full!! Awesome post & love the pics xx

  5. Gweat posty. We too fink pets can be gifts, but they shuldn’t be a surpwise. Dat’s where yous get into twubble. Da giver shuld make sure da givee wants a pet and can commit.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi

    • Another great point. Whee know efurryone knew Mummy wanted guinea piggies but had someone bought them without asking her Mummy it would not have gone well!


      • Yep, and yous mommy might not hav been purrpawed. Yous can’t liv in a shoebox and eat cawdboard. 🙂 So weez fink it’s always good to know and not be supwised. Weez need litter boxes and noms and tweats and toys. And where yous gunna get all dat on Christmas? 🙂 But yous did a gweat job of purrsentin’ why it can be dun.

        Luv ya’

        Dezi and Lexi

  6. Great advice, and adorable photos! 🙂

  7. Pets should not be given as surprise presents.

  8. I like your suggestion of an mandatory information session for potential adopter’s. Pets are a long time commitment. Your wee poem was a delight and your hat out-of-sight! xo

  9. Great post – I tell people much of the same thing when they ask what it is like having a rabbit. Thanks for educating us!!

  10. Within a household, with discussions and everyone accepting responsibilities, a pet as a gift can be wonderful. I have difficulty imagining any setup being good where someone else gifts a pet to a family, especially if it is a surprise. Live animals should not be
    a commodity.

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