Animals are not presents

Too often, the animals gifted as presents end up back in a shelter after the holidays are over.


Every year, we point out that animals do not make good gifts. Dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and even small critters such as hamsters and mice must not be handed over as a gift without lots of preparation and thinking. Even if they spread a lot of joy, someone needs to take over the responsibility for a life and the full scope of animal husbandry. Children, in particular, enjoy animal family members, but they are usually unable to take full responsibility for the care and well-being of an animal. Depending on the species, the new pet owner has a longstanding commitment in front of him - this can be around 12 years for dogs and up to 20 years for a cat.

Are you sure?

  • Lifelong responsibility for the animal - also when it gets old
  • Knowledge about the special needs of the animal
  • Enough maturity to take full responsibility for an animal
  • Space and time in his lifestyle
  • Lifelong financial costs
  • Regular vet checks
  • Enough movement and activities to do
  • A balanced and appropriate diet

Gift for yourself

If you want to give an animal as a present - give it to yourself, and after careful consideration. You can only decide for yourself if you:

  • This is the only way to prevent a well-intentioned pet gift from becoming unwanted and causing negative consequences when the pet owner is overwhelmed, and the animal is at worst neglected or given away.
  • Are aware that today's energy bundle will grow old and have age-related illnesses.
  • Have a serious and lasting interest in caring for and keeping an animal companion in "good and bad times".
  • have knowledge of the species, breed of the animal and its keeping conditions.
  • Are open to animal-related "damage" such as scratched hardwood floors or hair on the sofa.
  • Can provide the optimal domestic, financial, temporal and health conditions.
  • Can share your life permanently with an animal friend, with all its responsibilities and obligations.


Animals are no presents unless their well-being can be guaranteed. Whoever gives away an animal as a present, gives away a life, and with that comes a package full of responsibility and duties.