Surprising your family or friend with an adorable puppy for Christmas may seem like a perfect gift, but is it really? NO. animals should never be given as impulsive gifts, and the holidays are probably the worst time to bring a dog into your home and life. New puppies and dogs require extra attention and a stable environment which the holiday season does not allow caring for a dog’s round-the -clock care.

A dog is not a toy that can be returned or discarded, and the result of making the wrong choice when selecting a living being as a gift is often tragic. No matter how much you think your loved one would enjoy this “surprise”, you should never presume to make this decision for another person.. A dog is another family member and requires a lifelong commitment, so lifestyle, time, and financial resources are important considerations.

Most professional organizations recommend you give a “puppy gift package” instead of a live pup with a gift certificate entitling the recipient to a “dog of your choice”, a crate, gift certificates for a vet check up or dog toys, bowls, leash, books about dog care, or puppy socialization classes—be creative and have fun. Then if you discover on Christmas morning that the idea of the responsibility for a dog is definitely not wanted, all the items can be returned or donated to a local shelter or rescue group.

The new caregiver must be ready to make a commitment for the animal’s entire lifetime, and be prepared to accept the responsibilities that come with their new family member. Pets are forever and it is important to understand that dogs take time and commitment as shown in this Pet Promise:

  • I will never overlook my responsibilities for this living being and recognize that my dog’s well-being is totally dependent on me.
  • I will ensure that my dog has current identification, including collar tags, and tattoo or microchip ID.
  • I will always provide fresh water and good quality food for him.
  • I will socialize my dog by exposing her to new people, places, and other dogs.
  • I will be responsible to keep him clean and well groomed.
  • I will teach him basic training rules, including sit, stay, and come when called.
  • I will take her to the vet for all needed vaccinations, and regular dental checks. I will regularly do home all-body checks, looking for any bumps or lumps, or changes in either physical appearance or behavior.
  • I will provide both adequate physical exercise and mental stimulation.
  • In good times and bad, in sickness and health, I accept the responsibility and privilege to care for him, and spend time with him.

A dog is a “forever” dog, not an “until you get bored with me” not until circumstances change, you have a baby, you have to move, or you have no time, A dog is forever….if you can’t promise forever, don’t get a dog.