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Should you give a puppy or dog as a holiday gift? This is a question that comes up every holiday and is fraught with tension and a lot of family discussion. Giving a dog as a holiday gift is not a decision to be taken lightly; there are many pros and cons to be weighed.
We do caution to not give a puppy or a dog as a surprise gift. When you bring a dog or puppy into your home it’s a lifetime commitment; you need to be sure the recipient is ready, willing and able to commit to this.
Unfortunately, many individuals give puppies, kittens or other pets as gifts during the holidays only to surrender them later because they didn’t realize how much work and money it takes to raise a pet. Children will surely be excited if they see a pet under the Christmas tree, but remember all the hard work that goes into raising a pet typically falls on the shoulders of the parents. Before you gift a puppy to a child make sure the parents are completely on board.
We want to provide balanced information on why you should, and why maybe you shouldn’t, given puppy or dog as a gift this Christmas season.
Reasons a dog may not be a great gift at the holidays
Do they truly want a dog?
The main reason you shouldn’t gift a dog is because you’re not sure the recipient truly wants one. Even if that person has said, “I really want to get another dog” you need to know whether it’s wishful thinking or whether it’s truly on their mind.
Sharing your life with a dog is a commitment, but it is one of the biggest joys most people will ever feel. Playing with the dog, walking a dog, snuggling with the dog when you’ve had a bad day are all reasons we love sharing our lives with dogs.
What kind of dog do they want?
You may love giant breed long-haired dogs. The person you’re considering giving a puppy or dog to for the holidays may love tiny short-haired dogs.
When gifting a dog, you need to choose the dog the recipient wants not the kind of dog you want; remember you’re not the one sharing your life with this dog.
Keep the recipient’s lifestyle in mind when choosing a dog or puppy. If the person you’re giving the dog to is very active choose a dog who can keep up with this lifestyle; For example, a Pug is not an ideal choice for someone who is a long-distance runner and wants a running companion. If the recipient is a couch potato, choose a breed who loves to lounge around and relax.
Remember you are choosing a dog as a gift you’re not choosing a dog with whom you will be sharing your life your breed preference may not be the breed preference of the person to whom you are giving the puppy.
Has this person ever owned a dog before?
If the recipient is brand new to dog ownership, he or she may not understand the financial and time commitment that goes into a dog. Unless you’re sure this person can afford to raise a dog, you may be doing the dog and the person a disservice by gifting them one.
Remember, the recipient may absolutely love your dog, but that doesn’t mean they would have the time, patience and money to care for their own.
Giving a dog or a puppy as a Christmas gift
In addition to the dog, we suggest giving them a pet health insurance policy. This policy could be something you offer to pay for annually as an ongoing Christmas gift. Having the dog health insurance policy could relieve some of the financial burden owning a pet brings.
You can rest easy knowing your dogs and puppies are protected with PetFirst Pet Insurance. Dogs and puppies of all ages and breeds are covered from nose to tail.
When you deliver the puppy or dog deliver the pet health insurance policy as a package gift; They will love you for it.
The holidays may not be the best time to give a puppy or dog
The holidays are stressful for most people; from traveling, to hosting people at your house, to loud noises and an overall lack of time, getting a dog at the holidays may just add more stress to your already full plate. Remember, if you’re giving a puppy, someone will need to be responsible for house-training him.
Some reasons to give a puppy or dog as a holiday gift
Now that we’ve given you some reasons that may give you pause on giving a puppy or dog as a Christmas gift we have a few reasons why a shelter dog might just be the best gift ever.
Dogs are the gift that keeps on giving. When you share your life with the dog you are never alone. Sharing your life with the dog means you will get more exercise than individuals who do not share their lives with dogs and this may mean you’ll be healthier. Studies have shown petting a dog can lower your blood pressure and make you happier, those are two more fantastic reasons to give a dog as a gift.
Teach children responsibility. If your children have been asking for a dog and if they’ve been promising they will take care of this dog this is a perfect opportunity to show them how to take responsibility for another living being.
Sharing the responsibility of this new dog or puppy is an ideal way for you and your child to grow even closer.
Shelter dogs crave love and companionship. Ask anyone who has adopted a shelter puppy or a shelter dog and they will tell you those dogs seem even more loving than any other dog they’ve interacted with. We truly believe shelter dogs understand you have saved them and they will pay you back in love and snuggles tenfold. Chances are, even if you are looking for a specific breed you can find one in a shelter or a rescue organization.
Introducing a puppy or a dog to your family is a gift that will be enjoyed and loved long after the decorations have been put away and the toys have been broken.
If you want to give the gift of a puppy or a dog for Christmas but don’t want to introduce a puppy or a dog to the craziness of the holidays adopt your dog after the holidays have passed.
Robbi Hess is a full-time pet blogger and multi-published author. She shares her life with a diva Poodle, a goofy Goldendoodle, two Devon Rex, a senior ginger kitty and three reptiles!
Whether you bring home a new pet this holiday season or anytime after, PetFirst Pet Insurance is here to make sure your pets are covered for new accidents and illnesses.You can get a quote here in just a matter of minutes!
Guest Post by Robbi Hess