Holidays are the times we typically think of getting and giving new pets. While it’s quite exciting for the giver and the receiver, there are a few things that should be considered before giving dogs as gifts.
1. Dogs are a huge responsibility
Is the new dog parent willing and capable of caring for the dog both financially and physically? Are they committed to spending time with the dog? Are they willing to put in time to train the dog? Are they committed to taking care of the dog in the event the dog becomes ill? All of these things must be considered.
2. Dogs should be matched with the right family
Is the dog a right fit for the receiver? Consider the potential dog parent’s lifestyle. Are you giving a dog whose energy matches theirs? If you give an overly energetic dog to a person who prefers to stay at home and watch tv, that isn’t a good match. Are you gifting a puppy to someone who is busy and won’t have time to spend with the puppy? These are the main reasons dogs are rehomed and surrendered to shelters.
3. Dogs have emotions like humans
They can also respond to stressful situations like rehoming and neglect in the same way as humans. The majority of behavior cases that we see are dogs who have been ignored, rehomed multiple times, or just neglected. Before giving someone the gift of a dog, be sure that they truly understand the impact their actions can have on the dog. Have a backup plan in case it doesn’t work out.
Never give a dog as a gift to a child. Most children are not responsible enough to care for an animal and the adult will still need to be the primary caregiver. Dogs should never be given to a child to teach them responsibility. Typically when the child doesn’t care for the dog, the dog is surrendered.
If you have any questions about this or other dog training/behavior questions, please contact us today!