Pets should not be given as surprises, according to a veterinarian.
If you're thinking of buying a pet or giving one as a present, one thing is required, according to Utah State University professor and veterinary diagnostician Jane Kelly. Future pet owners are frequently unprepared for or unaware of the necessities of animal care, she claims, and both the person and the animal suffer as a result.
This dilemma is exacerbated every Easter, when it is usual to give seasonally appropriate creatures like ducklings, chicks, or bunnies as a surprise to the recipient and new caretaker.
It's a great idea, and they're so cute, Kelly explained, but they're not toys; they're years of dedication to properly care for them. You'd have to make sure the person receiving the gift is fully prepared for that commitment, says the author.
Pet ownership that comes unexpectedly can be harmful for both the animal and the owner. Ducks, chickens, and rabbits may live for years, turning a seemingly insignificant present for a loved one into a multi-year project. Despite their attractive appearance, Kelly advises against giving them unless you are very certain that the recipient has the commitment. I wouldn't suggest it for a variety of reasons.
For starters, ducklings and chicks aren't the best pets for single people. In a household pet situation without a flock, the animals are likely to endure severe anguish. The baby birds are also very vulnerable," according to Kelly.
It's possible that small children will unwittingly damage them, and then everyone's hearts will be crushed, she said.
Ducklings and chicks can transmit salmonella, which is especially deadly for extremely young children and immunocompromised people. Excessive noise is another external issue.
If you keep ducks, they're ducks, so they're going to quack, and your neighbors might not be happy about that, she said, adding that ducks also enjoy ponds and can wreck previously well-kept lawns. If you have gorgeous gardens, lawns, and flowerbeds, they're going to trash everything just because of who they are.
Kelly has ducks in her home, but they come at a price. To avoid disrupting her neighborhood's quack-free atmosphere, they had to go out of their way to find a non-quacking breed. They also had to build a pond and accept the fact that they wouldn't be able to have a vegetable garden near the animals' turf.
Rabbits, another favourite Easter pet, may make fantastic friends and enjoy long and healthy lives as pets, according to Kelly, if their owners are well prepared and informed of the necessary care. She advises maintaining only one rabbit, giving it with a hutch in a shady location, and letting it out at least once a day to graze and stretch its legs.
You have to check on them every day, just like any other pet. It's not something you can simply put in a hutch or place in your backyard and forget about. So veterinarian care, correct diet, and all those things are required for proper care. But, despite everything, they make a good pet.
Kelly advised potential rabbit owners to adopt from a local shelter and look for an adult rabbit who has been acquainted with humans. Rabbits, like their feathered Easter cousins, are simple to mishandle and hurt, though adults are a little tougher. Local predators pose a concern as well; owners should keep a look out for feral cats in the area, as they are known to prey on rabbits.
At the end of the day, Kelly advises against giving pets as gifts unless they have been well prepared and have realistic expectations.
Be extremely cautious about giving pets – even puppies and kittens require years of dedication. When they return to the shelter, get given back, or are abandoned, it's heartbreaking Kelly added. I think flowers or chocolate eggs or something — even Peeps — would be a much better gift.