Can you remember the time and place where you first caught sight of your furry best friend? I bet you can recall everything, both the sights and feelings. What if that day matched your birthday, graduation, or any other special time in your life? It would certainly be one of your most memorable birthdays or events.
Every year, especially during the holiday season, the media is flooded with campaigns bearing the message to not give pets as gifts. While it is undeniable that some people may decide to offer a pet as a present without understanding that animals are living creatures and not toys, why waste an opportunity to give happiness to those who are truly responsible? Is a puppy who meets their family on Christmas morning less loved and cared for than another? Will discouraging what constitutes one of the most beautiful events in a child’s life actually make those who are unable to love and care for others more conscious?
A survey conducted on people who got their pets as a gift in comparison to those who did not, concluded that the groups show no difference in the level of love and attachment to their pets, or in the risk of abandoning their pets.1Regardless of the way a pet finds their forever home, their fate relies entirely on their humans. Click To Tweet
If many of those puppies are treated as mere objects, the blame can only be attributed to the values, virtues, and the level of commitment of their human counterparts.
When dogs find a home, they will be loyal friends to their humans for the rest of their lives. Loyalty, love, and appreciation are in every dog, whether they are a pup or a senior. Unfortunately, commitment, care, and kindness are not qualities attributable to every human.
If a child who receives a pet as a gift has been taught these values, the way they meet their beloved four-legged friend will not change anything. As long as humans, regardless of their age and life stage, are able to understand the real meaning of taking responsibility, they will know that pet adoption implies a commitment for life. Click To Tweet
A solution to every problem
Many shelters agree that the main reason behind pet surrender are problems that can be solved with adequate knowledge and sometimes with the help of the right professional. However, the most important factor is the willingness of the pet owner to identify the problem and work it out. Sometimes people are not committed enough to find solutions and simply make excuses to avoid taking responsibility. Regardless of whether you received a dog as a gift or not, since you are a responsible person, here are some tips to solve the most common problems that can lead dog owners to abandon their pets.
1. My dog is too difficult to handle and is upsetting the neighbours.
2. I love my dog, but I also love to travel.
3. I can no longer afford to keep my dog as a pet.
4. I am going through a breakup/divorce.
5. My dog is destroying my clothing and furniture.
6. My dog has too much energy
7. I am too ill to look after my dog.
8. I live in a small apartment.
9. My dog doesn’t get along with my other animals.
10. I am going through a rough patch and cannot take care of a pet.
If you are still unsure whether you should give a pet as a present, you can still gift yourself tools and resources to prepare for it. Even if you are not taking the plunge, anticipation can still be a source of happiness and a way to enjoy the entire process more. Start to enjoy the journey to dog ownership with these books and guides.
1 Weiss, E.; Dolan, E.D.; Garrison, L.; Hong, J.; Slater, M. Should Dogs and Cats be Given as Gifts? Animals 2013, 3, 995-1001.