You’re at the pet store and you see the perfect Christmas gift – a beautiful, cuddly little puppy adorned with a big red bow – the ideal present for someone you love. But stop for a moment and consider that while a dog as a Christmas gift may seem like an irresistible gift, and one that the intended recipient will surely love and appreciate, it actually can be a very bad idea.
There are good reasons to avoid giving a new puppy or dog as a present. Are you certain the person really wants a new dog? If they do, what kind of dog is going to be best for their life style – a Golden Retriever with it’s people loving personality? A German Shepherd to guard the house? A big dog? A little dog? There are many things you really need to consider before gifting someone with a puppy or dog.
Two good reasons why giving a dog for Christmas is a bad idea:
(1) You need to ask yourself is, does this person even want a dog? Is the intended recipient of your gift actually ready for a dog? If the person is a dog lover, but doesn’t have a dog, there’s probably a good reason why. If he or she already owns a dog, maybe it’s not the appropriate time to add another dog to their family. You should be aware of how the gift recipient really feels about dog ownership.
(2) The gift of a new dog or puppy is something many kids dream about. Unfortunately, most children don’t realize that dog ownership comes with a lot of responsibility. If a child comes to the conclusion that caring for the dog is too much, the responsibility will ultimately transfer to the parents. If you are not the child’s parent, then you definitely should not give that child a new dog unless the parents are in agreement that it would make a great gift. If you are a parent of the child, then getting a dog becomes a family decision. If it’s your child, you should have a parent-to-child talk about the responsibilities involved in raising and caring for a puppy who soon grows into an adult dog.
If the receiver of the gift is truly open to welcoming a new dog into their home, there are still some important things to consider. Dogs given as gifts to kids on Christmas are often caught up in all the hustle and bustle of the season, and sadly, they may be soon forgotten, ignored like new toys and games.
If someone you care about is an adult and has indicated an interest in becoming a dog owner, you may want to give them a book about dog ownership as a gift. Use that as an opportunity to discuss whether or not they really want a pet dog, then if the answer is yes, make future plans to go with them to pick out their new dog or puppy. If the future owner of the dog is included in the decision process, it will be in everyone’s favor.
Make this Christmas a very merry one for the one you want to give the gift to, and also for the dog who deserves a loving, happy home where he or she is appreciated and wanted.