Ahead of us is a magical time of Christmas, preparations, and Christmas shopping, in which, of course, gifts for our loved ones become the key! This is the time when we think about others and what could make them happy, what they dream about and what will bring a smile to their faces when they unpack their Christmas present.
But this is also where many campaigns appear on TV and the Internet regarding dogs as unwanted Christmas gifts. Campaigns warn against buying a dog for Christmas and show unpleasant statistics of animals abandoned after Christmas. In this article, we will consider together whether a dog as a gift is a good idea and, if not, why? We will cover a few points to keep in mind and consider when we begin considering such an idea.
Pets as a gift are mainly given to children, but it often happens that the gifted person is an adult, more than once, they are elderly and lonely people whom the pet is supposed to keep company or force to exercise. Good intentions, but indeed animals for a gift it’s a good idea? Will, the recipient, be satisfied, and, importantly, will they cope with unexpected care of the pet? And are the dog’s needs not sometimes forgotten in all of this?
Why is an animal not a good gift idea?
No one needs to be told how much responsibility it is to care for an animal. Larger or smaller, depending on the species – but even caring for a fish requires appropriate knowledge so that it does not run out of anything and lives in conditions suitable for its species. In the case of dogs, this responsibility is enormous, and the future guardian of the four-legged dog should decide on his own that he wants to take this responsibility on himself.
A common argument is that a dog is sometimes gifted to someone we know who thinks that a dog is financially secure and ready to take on this responsibility. But in my opinion, this is still not a pretty good argument. Dogs are different; they have other characters, there is a vast range of purebred dogs and many different dogs in shelters. Regardless of where the dog comes from, proper adaptation to the lifestyle and possibilities of the future caregiver is crucial when deciding whether to buy or adopt a dog. I believe that you shouldn’t make this decision for someone else. After all, it is the debated person who should feel good with the dog and live together for the next several or several years.
An even worse situation is giving a dog to someone who has never mentioned the desire to have a pet. They are often lonely, mourning, or depressed people, and the pet is to keep them company and improve their mood. Sometimes it is also to force you to move more often and go for walks. But doesn’t that sound like making happiness? How can we be sure that the dog will improve a person’s mood, and not only worsen it by imposing new, unwanted duties on the head when it is challenging to cope with and without a dog? What will happen to a pet when the recipient cannot manage? Will we take it under our care for the next several years? Unfortunately, it happens that such a dog, at best, goes to a new family, undergoing the stress of another change of environment, and at worst, it will be thrown out onto the street or sent to a shelter – is it okay with the four-legged guilty?
What about the kids? Whether a dog a gift is it a good idea for them? Theoretically, a conscious parent knows that taking a dog will not be the child’s responsibility, and many responsibilities will fall on him. It is paying the vet, buying food, and often most walks. Therefore, to a large extent, the dog is a gift for the whole family, not only for the child. Of course, I understand that parents want to surprise their child with a huge surprise, knowing that this is one of his greatest dreams. However, they must remember that after a period of euphoria, discouragement and weariness with daily duties often come. Therefore, such a decision must be well thought out, and I think that it is worth for the child to participate in this process so that they know what the presence of a dog in the house is related to and that it can respect its needs and consciously participate in caring for it. Visiting the kennel together or walking introductory walks in the shelter can be an excellent lesson for a young person. That is why instead of a surprise, it is worth making a family decision about a new family member.
An animal as a Christmas present. Why is this a bad idea?
Another reason why a dog as a Christmas present is not a good idea. In many homes, the holiday season is full of the hustle and bustle. The Christmas Eve itself and Christmas are often guests at home or our visits to the family. In all of this, let’s imagine a dog that has just changed his whole life by turning a kennel, shelter, or foundation house into our apartment. There are shouts of joy, many hands wanting to stroke or play with the dog, confusion, and noise. These are not the best conditions to start a new life and get used to changes. The dog should have time to get used to it and gradually meet new people, a lot of time to sleep – Christmas often deviates from such conditions.
What if everyone is ready to take the dog under their roof?
When the whole family makes a joint decision about a new four-legged family member, it is not wrong to make a gift for yourself and your dog. But let it not be a living surprise in a box, but a joint initiation of the process of buying/adopting a dog. Let all household members participate consciously. Additionally, it would be a good idea to do it a few weeks before or after Christmas so that the time at home is more relaxed and the dog can slowly adapt to the new conditions.
I hope to describe and close the topic of four-legged Christmas gifts! Enjoy the festive madness; I wish you that this time will be unique, warm, and family-like for you. :)