|My favorite foster dog, named Rudy because he came into the shelter around Christmas. Read Rudy's heartwarming story here.|
Before you decide that a dog is the perfect gift for someone else, be sure that their lifestyle will support the lifelong commitment of owning a dog.
If the recipient is your child, make sure responsibilities for caring for the puppy are well thought out and that it’s the right time to add a pet to your family. Everyone in the house should be on board.
If the person you are gifting travels frequently be sure that won’t become an issue. Who will care for the dog while they are away?
Is there an apartment complex or Homeowners Association with restrictions that may impact dog ownership or the size and breed of dog they can have?Do they live with someone else that should be consulted before bringing a new pet into the home? Are there other animals in the home already?
Assess the ability to afford vet bills every year; annual vaccinations, checkups, and visits to the vet for occasional illness or injury. They may need to spay or neuter the dog themselves. Training, especially for puppies is important. Including a gift card towards training is an excellent addition to your gift!
Once you determine that a canine companion is definitely the right gift, help them make the right decision about whether to get a puppy or an older dog, and what type of dog would best fit their lifestyle.
Puppies are irresistible, but they are a lot of work. House training is the first order of business, and it takes time. Some puppies learn within a couple of days, others can take weeks. Basic obedience commands and good behavior must be taught. No one wants to come home to find potty accidents all over the house and a ripped up couch. Puppies are delightful but the first few months can be a lot of work. An older dog may already be house trained and well behaved, or at least calmer and easier to train.
The next question is what type of dog would be best. What breed of dog, how big, will they shed a lot, what is the dog’s level of activity, do they slobber, will the dog howl? These are important questions to ask before deciding on what type of dog will fit your lifestyle. I love Animal Planet's Breed Selector on their web site, with a questionnaire that can help you decide which breeds of dog might be a good fit.
Would a small dog that doesn't shed be the right fit, or a larger more active dog?
At animal shelters, Adoption Counselors help customers select a pet that fits their lifestyle. Don’t choose a dog based solely on looks, find the right breed (or breed mix) that fits the person’s lifestyle. Whether you work with a shelter, breeder, or rescue to find the right dog ask a lot of questions about the breed to be sure it’s a good fit. A dog is a lifelong commitment. Do the planning up front and the gift of the right dog will be the gift that never stops giving!
THIS IS A RASCAL AND ROCCO PET PARADE BLOG HOP!!