Is giving a dog or puppy as a gift for the holidays a good idea, or bad?
Personally, I believe that choosing a canine companion is personal, as you want to be able to have a connection with the animal and that isn’t always possible if someone else picks it out on our behalf.
However, I understand that there will always be those who have no problems and think it’s a great idea, so here are my tips for making it an enjoyable and long-term gift that keeps giving:
• Make sure the person you’re giving the puppy to is ready, willing and able to care for a dog (the puppy will grow up quickly!). The financial investment is only a small part of actually being prepared to care for a dog for the next decade or decade and a half.
• Consider helping with training (costs and/or going with them to training classes if permitted – if and when it’s necessary).
• Research their chosen breeds and take their lifestyle into consideration when choosing a puppy. A busy professional won’t want a high energy dog as much as an active family won’t want a couch potato for a dog.
• Research breeders. Not all of them are GREED-ers nor are they in it solely for the money. Choose a breeder with a contract, all reputable breeders will want or require that their dog be returned to them no matter what age if things don’t work out.
Parents: Be prepared to pick up the slack when the novelty of the puppy wears off and everyone is back to their busy routines.
Common reasons people re-home their dogs:
• They don’t have time/unfair to the dog
• Behaviour issues
• Mismatched energy levels
Alternatives to giving a pet for the holidays:
• Pet themed items such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, or wall art.
• Stuffed dog in the shape of their favourite breed.
• Trip to the shelter to volunteer with walking and/or cleaning cages.
• A donation in their name to a shelter or breed specific rescue organization.
• A training voucher or gift cards to pet store to help with costs when they’re ready to get a dog or puppy (be sure to read the expiration policy with the issuer as some are only good for one year after purchase).
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