Thinking of giving someone a puppy this holiday season (or any time of the year)? Award-winning Certified Animal Behavior Consultant Amy Shojai offers eight questions worth considering before you make your final decision. Take a look:
- Is the recipient already overwhelmed with other responsibilities that require his or her complete attention? A person who is coping with financial stress, sick family members, or a demanding job may not be able to maintain a puppy.
- Does this person spend a great deal of time away from home? If so, is there someone at home who can dedicate time to puppy care?
- Does the recipient have the space to house another member of the family?
- Can this person afford a puppy? Even a healthy dog is a financial responsibility; pet food and well pet care are not cheap. If the puppy turns out to have medical issues, the costs could run into the thousands.
- How stable is this individual? A new puppy may seem like a good way to help someone become more responsible, but the reality is that puppies are not training wheels; they need responsible, caring homes from the moment they arrive.
- Is this person going through (or about to go through) major life changes? A couple expecting a baby, a recent high school or college graduate, or a senior whose health is declining are all examples of people who probably do not need a puppy in their lives.
- Will the new puppy owner survive to care for the dog over the next 10 to 20 years? This question should be asked when you are considering the idea of giving a puppy to a lonely senior. If that individual is not likely to outlive the pet, will you be willing and able to give it a home?
- If you are giving a puppy to a child, are the child’s parents supportive of the idea? Children delight in puppy presents for holiday surprises, but breathing gifts cannot be shoved under the bed and forgotten when the latest must-have gadget has more appeal. Remember—even if Fido is for the kids, the parent ultimately holds responsibility for the well-being of the pet. Will the child’s parents have the time to spend on one-on-one attention a new pet needs and deserves?
Read the rest of the article at The Spruce Pets. And be sure to check out Amy’s website, too. You’ll find great info about her fiction as well as her non-fiction books. In addition to authoring more than two dozen pet care books, she also writes “dog-centric” thrillers.
Let’s close out the year on a high note! Here’s a slideshow of pups in winter, courtesy of photographers who share their work via the website Pexels.com.
See you in 2021!