Even if the intention is a good one, puppies and dogs just don’t make good gifts. They’re cute and cuddly, but gifting a dog just isn’t always the best idea to an unknowing recipient.
Retailers often advertise that puppies make great gifts, putting the bug in many people’s ears. But every year, shelters across America receive thousands of post-holiday pets.
Unless you’re looking to bring home a puppy for your family, you want to consider the following before buying or adopting a puppy to gift someone.
- Does the recipient even want a new dog?
Did the recipient specifically ask for a new dog? If not, don’t assume that he needs one. Elderly people aren’t always lonely. Teenagers don’t always understand the commitment. Young children typically don’t comprehend the responsibility, and the parents may not want the added family member.
- Dogs require a lot of space.
Puppies grow up and get bigger. They need a lot of space to run and play. Without a space to play, the recipient will need to ensure proper exercise. Without exercise, the puppy is most likely going to become quite destructive.
- Dog ownership is a lot of responsibility.
Adding a new puppy to the family is like bringing home a new baby. Puppies require a lot of work – house training, obedience training, etc. Adding a new puppy to a household means an entirely new routine added to the family.
- Dogs require a lot of time and attention.
Puppies need the time to train, feed, exercise and run after. Puppies will often act out if their left alone for too long. They can become quite destructive without enough good attention.
- Dogs can be expensive.
Puppies require vaccines and a regular schedule of them. They need flea/tick medicines, heartworm preventative, toys, a bed, leash and collar, bowls, food and other supplies. Does the recipient have the extra cash to care for a puppy for 10 or more years?
- Each dog has its own personality and behavioral traits.
The personality of the chosen puppy and the recipient may not mesh. Each puppy is different. The recipient may not know how to work with and train a dominant puppy, whereas a submissive puppy needs an entirely different handler. Some puppies are more rambunctious and energetic, whereas others are more low-key. When you choose a puppy for another person, the personality may be a mismatch.
If you are determined at gifting a puppy to someone, don’t make it a surprise gift. Let the recipient choose his own puppy.