Bear with me on this one, I know it is a controversial topic and for some people, getting a dog for Christmas worked out amazing. While that’s obviously great, other experiences are not so positive.
Everyone knows the saying ‘dogs are for life, not just for Christmas’ and big animals charities have run many campaigns sharing this message. Of course, most people intend to stand by this saying and have all the best intentions. However, a lot of people have no idea what they are getting themselves or others into.
Becoming an owner of any pet, particularly a dog, is a massive decision and life-changing choice. Once you become a pet owner, you are agreeing to take full ownership of that animal throughout their life, to care for them, pay for them and ensure they are happy and healthy. Therefore, it is unfair to give someone that kind of responsibility and, I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like the greatest gift either. So while a dog may seem like the best present and the receiver may love the puppy they are gifted, the honeymoon period won’t last long. Once they have to care for their pet full time; taking it for walks, cleaning up after inevitable messes, paying expensive vet bills and the countless other responsibilities, they may not feel up to it.
It’s unfair for any animal to get passed from home to home, just because their owners couldn’t look after them. That’s why it’s not a great idea for pets to be gifts. Also, if you’re a parent and are considering getting your child/children a pet as a gift, ensure you are ready for the responsibility too, especially if you feel they are not taking care of their pet properly. After all, it’s only fair to the animal.
So, while a cute dog, dressed as a Christmas pudding, is extremely cute and may seem like the perfect surprise present, please think about making the decision to give a pet as a gift. Dog’s are not there to look cute or even give you brownie points for gifting the best present. They want to have the best and happiest life and enrich yours to be just as happy.
Animals are for life, make sure you are ready for that commitment too.