Pets as Christmas presents

I just thought of this and wanted to know all you guys opinions on giving/getting reptiles as Christmas present

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Most of the time it’s a bad idea. In fact, the only time I think it would be a good idea is if you know for sure exactly what someone wants and that they have room for it. But otherwise, an unexpected pet may by more of a burden than a pleasant surprise.


This :point_up: is spot on.

As a example, I really really want a leopard gecko, my wife knows I want a leopard gecko, I have the set ups ready to roll… But if she goes and picks me a LG I can guarantee I’ll be, all be it secretly, disheartened.

She may choose the sweetest, cutest and friendliest gecko on the planet and it’s still not going to be the one I would have picked.

If you are going to buy anything reptile related as a present, make it a thermostat or extension lead :blush:


I think it’s a bad idea as most animal people don’t just want XYZ animal, they want to pick out the specific one themselves. Even if somone knew I wanted and was saving up for a specific morph, I still would rather they not get it for me, because chances are they may not know the exact specifics of what I’m looking for. Instead I think it’s much better to buy someone an enclosure, a thermostat, a gift certificate for a certain breeder if you know they had decided where they wanted to buy from, something like that.

Technically I did give a couple I’m friends with a hatchling for Christmas, but it was in no way, shape or form a surprise. They had expressed interest in getting a baby from me before I even started pairing, I kept them updated once I confirmed Mango was gravid, and offered them one as soon as the babies hatched, so they had plenty of time to prepare by the time their hatchling was good to go. The fact they got her as a gift right before Christmas was more of a coincidence than anything


Yes, reptile related accessories are an awesome idea if you want to support their hobby!


So I have bought my hubby 2 snakes for birthdays, but I did plenty of research and knew we had room plus I knew what he wanted. So much so that I ended up buying another for him to breed in the future. Plus I also ran out by him first so want exactly a suprise.

I have asked for pets for Christmas & birthdays but I’ve been specific as to what I want so I can have everything the pet requires (I really doubt I will get any pets).

However unless someone has done plenty of research prior, then I wouldn’t buy a pet for them as it’s just impractical. Here is my reasoning …

They may not like the pet I’ve chosen and get bored of it quickly.
They might not know what is required to care for this animal. I’d never buy an animal without enclosure or food (pets basic needs plus more) available.

If this is something that people want to do as a present, I’d rather be given money or a gift note (made by them) with an IOU on it. That way they get to pick the pet they want (within reason), they can research care and there is more chance the pet will have a happy life.


I mean, if anyone has high end Sterlings lol :joy:

But in all honesty, I think it can be fine but like the IOU better because it gives you time to get an enclosure set up. Then, by all means if they can care for it and can afford it.


Think it depends.
My banana Royal was a Christmas present from the other half and I was not expecting him, and I brought him an Ackie this year for Christmas, and he’s getting me frogs :sweat_smile:

If it’s one someone wanted (like above) it’s different.
But to ‘surprise’ someone with one randomly, not knowing if they actually wanted one in the first place, is another thing!
Unless they’re over the moon, if not I wouldn’t say a good idea, as unless you’re providing the full set up too, that’s something that person has to then panic about getting now as well as everything else for said reptile.

If I got my daughter a Basilisk she’s always wanted though randomly, she’d be happy :joy:


I don’t think it’s a great idea because the person may or may not even want it. For example, I was once offered a gecko (I think it was bell or rainwater albino) that I declined because it didn’t fit into my breeding plans (since tremper albino is not compatible with other types of albino) and I didn’t want to spend $200 a year feeding an animal that I really didn’t want/need. There was another time when I was offered a tangerine eclipse and I took it because I had planned on working with tangerine and this was a great example of the morph. Neither of these were related to christmas but if I was given one for christmas I wouldn’t be too happy. These animals are very expensive to take care of and if I don’t absolutely love it I’m not going to want to pay the amount to care for it (of course I would but not everyone would and sometimes the animals care could suffer). For me, it would still be great if someone got me an animal that I picked out. For example, someone said they would buy me a reptile (reasonable price of course, lol) and I picked a reptile out. They would put a deposit down/pay for it and the animal would be shipped after the holidays. I would still be excited because it’s an animal that I wanted.


I think that is one of the only ways to do this safely.


Never ever give it to young children. Something about parents giving 4-9 years olds small pets just makes me so incredibly mad. Yes kids need to learn responsibility but teach them that by letting them take care of your dog or cat. Too many reptiles die because the kid doesn’t take care of them right.

Do tons of research and don’t give animals as gifts unless you are the immediate family and even then you should get the supplies for the animal, make sure the person knows their stuff and let the person go out and get one. You don’t know what they like and if you get them say a normal ball python they may be disappointed, then that leads to not taking care of the animals as well as they thought.

Reptiles especially are just a ton of work and time and money and they’re too complicated for someone going into elementary school. My mom let my 4 years old sister hold MY beardie one time (without my permission) and she freaking threw him into the fan, he died because of that. Like… kids just don’t understand how important care is for reptiles. Especially the babies


My 6 year old has grown up with reptiles,
She will be choosing her own Crestie from the babies we have.
But I think that’s different! She helps raise, water, feed etc. She’s done so for years, loves helping out with them :blush:
So me ‘giving’ her one, will be her choosing her own.

So sorry to hear about your beardie… thats awful :disappointed:


My 7 year old son will be getting his first ball python for his next birthday. As his grown up around reptiles.

It’s one we bred and he chose to have. We will suprise him by putting it in his room with a lock so he cannot open it without us there.

He already feeds the snakes and offers to clean them out but I tend to do that.

Either way, it’s a reptile we have committed to looking after and have looked after the species for some time, just gives him a sense of slight sense of responsibility but I wouldn’t let him have anything I wouldn’t be willing to care for.

And if he decides not to clean it out or feed it, then we shall and we will take it out of his room and back into the snake room.

But genuinely I wouldn’t agree with a child having it just because they asked for it. It’s something he had to work for.

Yes in this instance, It’d be awesome for her to have a reptile :slight_smile: You won’t believe how many misinformed parents walk into petsmart and buy it because their kid wants it :slight_smile: I have to deal with that a lot and it’s really so annoying when a customer walks up with a beardie and a ten gallon tank, and calci sand, with a little 4 yr old trailing behind them.

I’m always so happy for more people to join the community, being that those people know their stuff. But I’m glad your daughter gets a crestie. She seems so awesome. My post was a bit too intense now that I realize


I think it’s fine as long as the person knows what they are getting, knows how to care for it and understand the time commitment. I got a horse for Christmas 2 years ago. Unfortunately we learned from an accident riding him I have a genetic disorder which doesn’t allow me to ride, he needed a job which 7 months after the injury and a surgery I am still not recovered. I did sell him. I have bought my kids hamsters, fish and my husband got me a kitten this year. I bought my mom a cat which lived with her for 15+ years.

I think I second most peoples opinions here. Husband has given me a pet for Christmas but it was decided ahead of time, we had all the supplies, and I helped in choosing the animal.

On the other hand I agree unplanned pets are bad for the receiver and the animal. More likely than not especially in the case of children they get pawned off on the parent after a few weeks if not forgotten about entirely; and it’s the pet that suffers the most.

When I was a teen/young adult I spent time working in pet stores and you wouldn’t believe the amount of animals that would get left outside the doors in the months following Christmas. Me and a few of my other coworkers would generally take these animals in and try to rehome them (which was technically against policy) but there was no way any of us were gonna turn a blind eye to it when “Nemo” or “Slinky” or “Tweety” got left on our literal doorstep.

People in general should take all contingencies into consideration if they can’t keep the said pet and have a backup plan if they cannot keep it.

I ****ed off more than my fair share of parents by telling them things along the lines of “are you personally down with taking care of x,y, or z if your child loses interest?


My Christmas present this year :joy:


Those are beautiful!

I wish I could get a gift now lol :joy:.


Not sure they could be wrapped and hidden? :thinking::rofl:
Though came yesterday and I didn’t know about it soooo :laughing:


I believe it is a good idea if you talk and plan with the person on what they want, research its needs, and make a plan to have it all ready for the animal on christmas.

It is a terrible idea as a surprise. They may not be able to afford husbandry, may not want the animal past the initial novelty, etc.