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Dogs are Not Gifts

Why Giving a Dog as a Present is a Bad Idea

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Picture of Dog in Gift Box - Gift Dog Photo

It seems cute now, but this little guy is not necessarily the perfect gift.

Photo © Andersen Ross/Getty Images
You think you have found the perfect gift: a new puppy in a big red bow for someone you love. Surprise! Think again. While this may sound like a dream come true, it can actually be a pretty bad idea. Sure, it's the thought that counts, but there are several reasons to avoid giving a new puppy or dog as a present. Bottom line, it's usually not an ideal situation for the dog, nor the new owner. If you are looking for a great gift, here are some great gifts for dog lovers.

Dogs as Gifts for Adults

First of all, can you really be sure that this person even wants a new dog? If so, is the receiver actually ready for a dog? If you know this person is a dog lover, but does not already have a dog, there's probably a good reason why. If he or she already owns a dog, perhaps it's not the appropriate time to add another dog to the family. Talk to this person about dog ownership. Maybe you can go as moral support when the time comes to choose a dog. Either way, it's safest to stick with gifts of the non-living and breathing variety.

Dogs as Gifts for Children

The gift of a new dog or puppy is something many kids dream about. Unfortunately, most of these little ones do not realize that with dog ownership comes responsibility. Soon enough, the care of the dog can fall into the hands of mom or dad. If you are not the child's parent, then you really have no place giving that child a new dog unless the parent(s) are on board. If you are a parent of the child, then getting a dog is a family decision. Have a discussion with your child about the responsibilities involved. Examine your household situation so you can choose the right dog for your family.

If a New Dog is Right

If the receiver of the gift is actually in a position to welcome a new dog into the home, there are still some important things to consider. Dogs given as gifts on birthdays and holidays can get caught up in all the hustle and bustle of the events. Sadly, they may be soon forgotten like new toys and games - particularly where kids are concerned. If someone you care about is interested in getting a dog, give a book about dog ownership or a dog accessory as a gift. Discuss plans to go and pick out that new dog or puppy. If the future owner of the dog is part of the decision process, it will be in everyone's favor. It's the best way to start dog and owner off on the right foot.
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