With the holiday shopping season nearing its final days, some of us might find ourselves in a panic over finding the perfect gift for loved ones. And what could possibly be more incredible than sitting around the tree on Christmas morning, hot cocoa in hand next to a warm fire, and watching a new puppy bounce around with a big, red bow tied around its neck, right? Wrong.
The temptation to adopt a puppy as a gift for others might seem like a great plan initially, yet one should consider the longevity and commitment heavily. Even parents who would like to give their children a new animal friend have much to contemplate.
When giving a puppy as a present, you’re truly gifting someone a longterm responsibility. Sure, puppies are cute, and we all love them. All the same, how will your recipient feel about having to house train a new dog? Walk a new dog daily? Where will the puppy stay when its owners are on vacation or have to unexpectedly leave town for an emergency? Is the new owner capable of caring for the puppy’s medical needs? And will this person be willing and wholeheartedly receptive to the task for a couple of decades? These are all just the very basic items any adopter would need to ponder seriously, so, naturally, anyone receiving a dog as a gift would be faced with identical concerns.
If the person to whom you’re gifting doesn’t already have a dog, it’s probably because s/he isn’t ready for the commitment at this time. By introducing a puppy as your holiday present, what you might inadvertently be doing is creating a negative situation for both the dog and its new owner. For instance, if things don’t work out, what will happen to the puppy? Your friend or family member, unable to fulfill the duty, might be forced to look for a new home or, worse, surrender it to a shelter where euthanasia might be a possibility. That’s a terrible position for all, certainly, as no one intends for a gift to be a burden or a source of pain and frustration.
So what’s the solution? Although it might ruin the element of surprise, the safest bet would be to ask permission before gifting a puppy this holiday season. You might ask your friend or family member to accompany you to an adoption event or to browse our many dogs available online. This enables the right match if the timing is indeed best for all. Once your friend or family member’s adoption application and home visit are successful, your tremendous gift to them could be purchasing extra items for their newly adopted pet — something any new owner would be thrilled to receive! Bedding, treats, bones, training, toys, etc., are all fantastic gifts whether given on Christmas morning or any day thereafter.
If your friend or family member is not interested in adopting at this time, but you would still like to do something to make a difference for puppies and dogs awaiting their forever homes, another wonderful idea would be to sponsor one of the dogs listed here in the name of your recipient. Win/win!
During the holiday rush, be safe. Be smart. Enjoy this time we have with one another and our animal friends wisely. Greetings to one and all!