Giving a Dog as a Gift: Is It a Good Idea?

puppygiftWe all know how rewarding dogs can be – their companionship and loyalty are unsurpassed. Dogs make us laugh, keep us company and provide us with unconditional love – so why wouldn’t you want to share those gifts with a friend or loved one?

A dog can make a wonderful gift for a friend or a loved one, but you need to carefully consider all of the responsibility that goes along with dog ownership before deciding to give someone a dog. While you might love being given a dog, that same gift won’t work for everyone. In some cases, giving a person a dog can cause them stress and burden them with unwanted responsibility.

If you’re considering giving someone a dog as a gift, you should first find out if they really want a dog. A friend or family member might be a dog lover, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re ready to have a dog in their life at this time. Have some discussions with the person about whether they want a dog and are ready to bring a dog into their home.

The financial responsibilities of owning a dog are one of the major reasons that people put off dog ownership. Veterinary bills can be significant, and a dog owner will also need to budget for food and supplies, grooming, and training. Remember that if a person works or travels, they will need to find a caregiver or a quality boarding facility for the dog when they travel.

Consider the person’s lifestyle, too. Do they often work long days with hectic schedules? If so, will they have time to care for a dog? What is their housing situation? Rental properties often have strict rules about allowing pets, and if the person were to move into another rental property in the near future, owning a dog would limit the properties available to them.

Most importantly of all, don’t give someone a dog as a surprise gift. You will need to have some discussions with the person about whether they are ready (and want) to own a dog. It’s important for a person and a dog to be a good fit – if you just go out and select a dog, you can’t guarantee that it would be a good match for the person you are giving it to. It is best if a person selects the dog with the temperament, size, age, and breed that they prefer and desire.

You can still be involved in the process, though. Offer to take your friend or loved one to look at potential dogs with the understanding that whatever dog they select will be a gift from you. Pick out a fun collar and leash to bring along, and take plenty of pictures so that they remember the special gift.


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