Like rabbits or chicks at Easter, each Christmas there are plenty of experts advising people not to give dogs or puppies as gifts. Although this can seem like a great idea for a loved one, the owner of Dog’s Best Friend in Tampa, Florida, Gregg Flowers, wrote in Shreveport’s The Times that it’s a bad idea.
Getting a dog is a big decision, and if your gift recipient isn’t completely prepared for it, it won’t be a present for the person or the pup. Sometimes dogs can be neglected or mistreated when given as a gift to someone who doesn’t want one, or it can at least put financial or emotional strain on the recipient. Flowers explained that getting a dog is a significant life move and should never be a surprise.
“Understand that bringing a dog into your world, is a LIFE decision,” Flowers wrote in The Times. “It’s a life decision relating to two lives (at least). Does it really make sense to ‘surprise’ someone with a decision about their life? The chances of this idea working out well, just aren’t very good I’m afraid. It’s sort of like giving someone a baby they weren’t ready for, and didn’t ask for. You’re essentially forcing a pretty sizable responsibility and expenditure on them.”
A much better option for all parties involved is to ask if someone wants a dog before giving one as a gift. This way, if they do want a dog, you can help bring them into a loving home. Although not surprising, it’s definitely a better option for the pooch in the long run.
Good gifts for dog lovers
If you’ve got a passionate dog lover on your shopping list, make sure you get them something different that they can really use.
- A specialty grooming tool – Wired magazine suggested a vacuum attachment dog hair cleaner to keep homes fur-free – the perfect gift for dog lovers who want to keep their homes clean.
- Customized stationery – If you’ve got a friend who loves their dog, get some specialty stationery that features their beloved pooch on the corner, Country Living magazine recommended. With every note or “thank you” note, people will only get to know their dog better.
- A PetPlus membership – If you really want to show someone on your list that you care about them and their dog, grab them a PetPlus membership to give them discounts on food, medication and even veterinary visits. It’s the gift that will keep on giving.