Adopting a dog is a serious commitment of time, money and energy. Surprising someone with this type of commitment only leads to disaster, usually for the dog. Shelters and rescue organizations discourage giving dogs as gifts. Here is why you should reconsider adopting a dog as a gift.
Most dogs live from 10-17 years. Depending on the age of the dog when you adopt it, you are making a very large time commitment to the animal. Surprising a person with this kind of commitment is not a good idea.
Children, especially those in their mid to late teens have other things on their minds. Many are preparing to leave for college and others have extra-curricular activities and jobs. There are too many demands on a teen's time and energy to expect them to commit to a dog. Another problem is college. Most dorms do not allow pets. What happens to the dog when your child goes off to college.
Many elderly people do not have the finances or desire to commit to a dog. While a dog makes a great companion for an older person, surprising your parents or grandparents with a dog is a bad idea.
Shelters and rescue organizations
All shelters and rescue organizations require you to sign a form stating if you cannot care for the dog anymore, you must return the dog to the shelter. If you adopt from a shelter or rescue and then give the dog to another person, you are violating your adoption agreement. While most organizations do not have the ability to checkup on every dog that is adopted, it could become a problem
Ruining a surprise
Instead of adopting a dog as a surprise gift for your kids or parents, talk to them about it first. Kids need to understand that the dog will require care like food, water and grooming from them. If you live in an apartment or condo, you must decide who will walk the dog at night. If the dog will require his evening walk after a child's bedtime, the responsibility falls on the parents.
If you plan to give a dog as a gift to your parents or grandparents, make sure they are physically and financially able to care for the dog. Talk to them about how large a dog they think they can handle and if they really want a dog at all.
Surprising your family with a dog for the holidays may seem like a good idea at first, but when you take a closer look at it, this type of commitment requires advance discussion and planning.