Christmas is a time for giving, and many people wonder if they should gift a dog to their loved ones. While it can be a very thoughtful gift, it’s important to remember that having a dog is a serious commitment. Dogs need exercise, plenty of food, and regular veterinary care. If you’re not prepared to handle those responsibilities, you should think twice about gifting a dog for Christmas.
The Right Way to Gift a Dog For Christmas
We are sure you’ve seen those adorable videos of a puppy running out wearing a festive bow or being unboxed like a present. While these videos can be adorable, they don’t always tell the whole story. In reality, that cute pup will start barking, running around, and making messes. Before you gift a dog for Christmas, it’s important to make sure the recipient is willing and able to take on dog ownership.
What Happens to Dogs After Christmas?
Having a dog in your home can provide you with a lot of comfort and joy. But a new pet comes with a lot of responsibility, and an unprepared recipient may not be able to handle it. Unfortunately, too many dog owners give up their pets after the excitement from Christmas morning wears off, and the real work begins.
Dogs can be costly, both financially and emotionally. And they require a lot of time and care that the recipient may not be willing to commit. Before you gift a dog to someone, consider the costs. Some of the costs that should be considered include,
According to the ASPCA, 3.9 million dogs are taken to animal shelters in the U.S. every year. 20% of these dogs are given up because their families don’t have enough time for a pet, have the financial means to care for the pet, or have the ability to handle behavior issues that may come up. If you’re considering giving someone a dog for Christmas, you should be 100% certain that the dog won’t become part of that 20%.
Guidelines for Gifting a Dog For Christmas
Many dog owners find that gifting a dog for Christmas can be an incredibly rewarding experience. But it’s important to consider the responsibility and commitment involved before you start to gift a dog. Here are some guidelines to help you make sure your dog-gifting experience goes smoothly.
Never Gift a Dog for Christmas as a Surprise
A dog is a wonderful addition to your life. However, not everyone has the time, energy, or interest in having a pet. If you are buying the dog for your grandchild, make sure to check with the parents to make sure that they are ready to help take on the responsibility. While keeping the element of surprise is fun, the dog should never come as a surprise to the head(s) of the household.
Pay the Pet's Adoption Fees
Once you know that the recipient does, in fact, want a pet, instead of just picking out a random dog, you should tell them that you will pay the shelter’s adoption fees. This allows the recipient to pick out a dog that suits their lifestyle and personality, one that they can bond with. And if they ultimately decide they do not want to adopt a dog, you have at least made a much-needed donation in their name.
Only Gift a Dog for Christmas to Immediately Family
Sometimes a friend might accept a pet as a gift because they just don’t know how to say no. To avoid this, gifting a dog for Christmas should only be done between immediate family members (husband, wife, kids). And even then, the decision-makers in the family need to decide if it is suitable for the family.
Don't Gift A Dog for Christmas on Impulse
Whether you gift a dog to your kids or a friend, it is very important not to do it on impulse. If you go to the store to grab groceries and see an adoption event for dogs, don’t give in and buy one. Acting on this impulse doesn’t give you but, more importantly, the recipient a chance to adopt a dog that is right for their lifestyle. Make sure that both the recipient and their family are ready to take on this life-long commitment and can provide a loving home for the dog.
Ask Yourself These Questions Before You Gift a Dog For Christmas
If you still think gifting a loved one a dog for Christmas is the right thing to do, then we are so excited to hear that! However, we want to be sure you can answer these questions before making your final decision.
- Can the recipient commit to caring for this animal for the next 10 to 15 years?
- Is the recipient allergic to pet dander?
- Can the recipient provide the animal with proper care and veterinary visits?
- Does the recipient live in a rental, and are pets allowed? If so, are there any restrictions?
If you can’t answer all of these questions, then you probably shouldn’t gift your loved one a dog for Christmas.
Gifting a dog for Christmas is a wonderful way to show someone you care and can bring joy to their lives while also helping an animal in need. Just make sure you are confident in your recipient’s ability to handle the dog responsibly and that everyone in the household is on board with the decision. By following these guidelines, your gift of a dog for Christmas can bring many years of love and happiness to your recipient’s home.