A puppy can make a wonderful addition to any home. However, dogs are more than just gift ideas for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, or any special occasion.

Dogs are an amazing addition to life, yet not everyone has the time, stamina, money, or interest in having a puppy. Before giving a puppy as a gift, there are several things to consider, which we have outlined below.

Are the people getting your gift dog really ready? 

We believe that choosing a dog as a surprise gift for someone is generally a bad idea. You can give a dog as a present, but only if the person is wholly involved in the process. Never do it as a surprise. 

It's better to discuss the possibility with them and see if they want the commitment and responsibilities that go into owning a puppy. There might be concerns about allergies, lifestyle, expenses, energy levels, and special needs of puppies to consider.

The right match between a person and a dog companion is very personal due to the commitment involved. An important part of the process is for the dog owner to fully understand and be prepared for the responsibility of taking care of the pet.

Never give a dog as a gift to a young kid unless their parents are completely on board with the idea of giving a puppy as a gift.

How to responsibly give a puppy as a gift

Puppies are adorable living creatures and it's very important to responsibly give them to someone as a gift. Try to explore the possibilities of puppy ownership and ensure that the person can meet the requirements of the dog.  

  • Ensure the person who you give a puppy to wants a pet

Keeping a puppy is a big commitment. You should also consider whether the recipient is physically and mentally prepared to have a dog. It’s best to ask the recipient whether they want to keep a dog. So, get involved and do your homework.

  • Think about the recipient's lifestyle

Lifestyle is another important factor to ensure the recipient and puppy are a good match. Puppies need to be exercised, fed, groomed and played with regularly. Ensure that the person you’re gifting the puppy to has time, energy, and resources available to care for it.

If the person is active, they may want an energetic pup to go for jogging or long walks. On the other hand, if the recipient is your elderly grandmother, a calm and relaxed dog is a better choice. 

Other lifestyle aspects to consider include whether the recipient does a lot of traveling or if there are kids or other pets in the household.

  •  Know the recipient's home environment

Dogs need room to play and an outdoor space to go to the bathroom. Take into consideration whether the recipient lives in a house or an apartment. Consider the size and location of the recipient’s house, and see if they have a fenced yard.

If the recipient lives in an apartment with little to no outdoor space, a small dog breed with a laid-back personality may be better than a large breed. 

  • Know the puppy's needs

Puppies need lots of love, attention, and training. A dog's needs vary with its breed, age, and personality. Ensure that the recipient matches these needs adequately. Also, take a look whether the person you’re gifting the dog can handle this financial responsibility and will be able to meet the ongoing expenses of the puppy.

  • Know what puppy the recipient wants

It's better to ask them about what dog breed they want, how old they wish the puppy to be, and what gender they want it to be. The recipient should have a better idea of exactly what type of puppy they want. Help them to learn about breed-specific information, routine care, grooming, and exercise requirements when they're choosing a breed.

  • Ensure the puppy you will give as a gift has everything it needs

Ensure that the new owner has the following inventory before bringing home the puppy.

    • Dog collar
    • Food and water bowls
    • A leash 
    • Chew toys
    • ID tags
    • Dog crate or pet gate
  • Obtain the dog responsibly

    The best way to get a dog you wish to make a gift of is by obtaining it via an animal rescue center, shelter, or a reputable breeder. Don't buy the dog from puppy mills. 

    • Pay the dog's adoption fee

    It's better to pay adoption fees and related expenses in advance for the person you’re gifting the puppy to. 

    Pro tip: Give your loved ones a puppy as a gift, but never as a surprise. A surprise may feel more festive but may not work in the long run.
    Remember, the ultimate goal is to match the recipient with the right puppy, and ensure they have the means to care for the little furry guy.
    The bottom line: There are responsible and irresponsible ways to give a dog as a gift. Always choose the responsible way otherwise both the dog and the recipient will suffer acutely.

    Checklist on giving puppy as gifts

    When it comes to giving a puppy as a gift, a responsible approach is key for the gift to be successful. Here’s a brief checklist that will help you decide if it’s right to give dogs as gifts:

    • Temperament and personality compatibility: Think about the circumstances of the person to whom you want to give a puppy. What type of dog would have the most compatible personality?  
    • Designated caregiver: Who would be the designated caregiver for the puppy? Is that person a reliable caregiver who truly wants a dog?
    • Affordability: Can the recipient afford the ongoing expenses of the pet? Will they be able to feed, groom, and provide veterinary care for the dog? 
    • Travel: Does this person travel a lot or has long working hours? Who would care for the puppy while its owner is traveling for work or pleasure?
    • Allergies: Does anyone in the recipient's household have allergies to dogs? 
    • Desire: Does the recipient of the puppy truly want a dog?

    Environment, lifestyle and the recipient’s own willingness will dictate the type of dog that’s best.

    Having responsibility for taking care of a dog can make the owner's life more meaningful. This can also help them to adhere to a routine and follow a schedule that proves to be beneficial for both dog and his owner. Their presence can be a great medicine during times when someone is feeling down.

    What other gifts could you get someone who wants a dog? 

    Here are few gift ideas for someone who love dogs

    If a person has recently got a puppy, you can choose from the following gift ideas:

    • Dog harness 
    • Pet bowl
    • Dog blanket
    • Dog bed
    • Dog treats
    • Chew toys
    • Dog puzzle 

    Think twice before giving a dog as a gift

    A puppy as a gift is certainly free for the new dog owner. However, there will be ongoing costs throughout the dog’s life. The upkeep cost includes food, bedding, toys, veterinary visits, vaccinations, and grooming expenses. There is also a big investment of time to exercise, play with, and train the puppy.

    There are so many incidents of dogs that have been sent to shelters or rescue centers. Adopting a dog is a very big step for someone. That puppy is going to be part of the family forever and the new owner will be responsible for the cost and care till the dog lives. 

    Owning and caring for a dog is not a commitment that you should make for someone else, no matter how nice your intentions are.

    Final thoughts

    Caring for a puppy comes with a long-term commitment. Each pup deserves a pet owner who has time, energy, resources, and interest to welcome them happily into their life. Giving a dog as a surprise gift is fine if the recipient has indicated that this is what they want and they will take good care of it.

    To ensure success, you must make sure that the person to whom you want to gift a dog truly wants a dog, and is prepared to care for it for years to come.

    Are you ready to get a dog as a gift? Let us know in the comments! We would be happy to hear from you.

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