You may be tempted to gift a dog this holiday season but we have 5 reasons you should think twice before adopting or buying a dog on someone else’s behalf.
5 Reasons to Never Gift a Dog
With great cuteness comes great responsibility. Pets, especially dogs, not only require lots of time and attention but a sizable financial investment. Putting this responsibility on someone who is not financially able to care for a pet is putting the dog at risk of being surrendered. Many shelters see a spike in dogs being surrendered after the holidays, mostly from people who were not up to the task of taking on a new member of the family. Also, gifts are not suppose to cost the recipient money.
Gambling with the dog’s future
Dogs are social beings and can be traumatized by shuffling back and forth between homes and shelters. In addition, dogs surrendered are at greater risk for euthanization because they have been returned multiple times. Since dogs should not be returned like an ill-fitted sweater, the gift giver is ultimately responsible for that pup’s future.
Consider the lifespan of a dog. Ideally, dogs live into their teenage years. If you gift a dog to someone, that person has just been given an over a decade-long responsibility. Likely, your friend doesn’t know what they’ll be doing in another ten years. So, unless you can also give the gift of foresight, forego the dog-gifting.
Owners have to be ready
Without food, bedding, a leash or collar, new dog owners can feel overwhelmed and underprepared. Plus, there’s an important bonding period that happens when owners first get a new pet. If the new owner does not have the time to invest in the new relationship, the whole relationship could be off to a rocky start.
Connections are unique
You often hear pet owners say, “They chose me,” or “I went to the shelter, and I just knew.” It’s very common for animals and humans to have a special bond that starts well before that animal is brought home. An animal that bonds with you, won’t necessarily bond with the person you’re gifting them to. It’s better to allow people to make their own connections with potential pets.
Getting a dog is a big responsibility, so make sure the person is ready for the commitment! Or better yet, forego the pet gifting and donate to an organization that will help animals or give a gift that gives back. Happy holidays!