Is It a Good Idea to Give a Dog as a Gift?
No, it is usually not a good idea to give a dog as a gift. While the sentiment may be well-intended you never know how the person you are gifting a dog to will react.
Why you should not give a dog as a gift?
There are many reasons why you should not give a dog as a gift to someone. For one they require a lot of attention and responsibility that your gift receiver may not have. They are also a long-term commitment and not just a new toy for your gift receiver.
A dog is a full-time responsibility. It’s not an impulsive gift
A dog requires a lot of responsibility and should not be taken lightly as a run-of-the-mill gift. If the person you’re thinking about giving a dog to as a gift suddenly decides they don’t have the time to take care of them anymore they will likely end up in a shelter.
A dog require a long-term commitment
A dog is a long-term commitment. A dog requires long-term care from puppyhood, adolescence, and well into its old age.
Owning a dog cost money, the person you are gifting may not have extra funds
A dog is an expensive gift, and not just for the person giving the dog as a present. The person receiving the dog as a gift will now have to pay for food, vet visits, toys, and leashes for their new dog. These are extra expenses that some people cannot afford without budgeting and having a long time to prepare for those extra costs. If they don’t have an emergency fund for themselves, how would you expect them to pay for a dog’s emergency? Vet visits and preventive medications are quite costly. You may not be thinking of all of the costs that you could be putting on the new dog owner but there are a lot of additional costs associated with owning a dog, which requires time and proper budgeting and preparation.
A dog requires attention, time, energy, and care
Dogs and all pets require an owner’s time, energy, and 24/7 care. This is a lot of work to place unto a person when giving a dog as a gift. If your gift recipient works late hours, the dog will be left without attention and care for long periods. While it may be a nice gesture, it could be harmful to the new owner and the new dog in the long run.
What if you pick the wrong breed of dog to give as a gift
There are many different dog breeds, and with each different breed, there are different characteristics. In fact, there are 7 different dog breed groups, according to the American Kennel Club which consists of sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting, and herding. As you can tell many of these groups, of which a majority of popular dog breeds come from, are dogs that require frequent exercise to remain healthy and happy. Sure, some dog groups such as the toy group and the non-sporting groups may seem like they could be gifted rather easily but these breeds still require special care and many toy breeds have frequent health problems if not taken care of properly. In addition, many dog breeds require an outdoor space, which is not available to everyone, such as those who live in a small apartment complex, or who may be renting.
Alternatives to Giving A Dog as Gifts
There are a few alternatives to giving a dog as a gift that will still warm the hearts of those receiving the gift. If the gift was intended for a child, you can always give them a stuffed animal of their favorite dog breed and even include some information about the care the dog breed needs and its history. This way the child will slowly learn about the responsibility needed to take care of the animal. Another option is to donate to a local animal shelter, so that you can help animals in need and those who take care of them. You could also arrange for a visit to the shelter or even take your gift receiver to volunteer with the shelter and befriend the animals until they are in a position to take care of them as their own dog.
Dogs and pets, in general, should be off the table when it comes to holiday gift-giving
So, while giving someone a dog may seem tempting because they are so cute, you have to remember what goes into having a pet. It is best to scrape the idea of giving a dog to someone as an impulsive gift. Instead, utilize an alternative and have an honest conversation with your gift recipient about their ideas for getting a dog when the time is right for them.