pets as a gift french bulldogPuppies and dogs can be cute and cuddly, but you must care for them their complete lifetime which will require time, energy, and money. Giving pets as a gift can be a bad idea.

Can you imagine receiving a gift that continues to cost you time, energy, and money? Think about it! Not everyone is willing or able to provide a home.

When to Give Pets as a Gift

If you are giving a dog or puppy as a gift to an immediate family member and you both live in the same household, and if you are willing to properly care for and be responsible for the dog, then yes, you can give pets as a gift.

Otherwise, it is not a good idea. Many puppies and dogs end up in shelters when the “new” wears off. Don’t make a quick decision! Dogs need stable homes with regular routines, and someone to love unconditionally.

Provide Basic Needs

If you give a dog or puppy as a gift, you also need to buy the basic supplies that the dog will need. Can you imagine receiving a gift that requires you to buy basic supplies? If you are giving a dog as a gift, buy the basic supplies the dog will need!

  • Basic Needs
  • Collar and Leash
  • Food
  • Bowls
  • Treat
  • Bedding
  • Chew Toys
  • Brush

Dog Breed to Lifestyle

pets as a giftWhat if you choose a dog breed that the recipient does not want or the dog’s characteristics don’t match the person’s lifestyle? Most likely the dog will end up at a shelter where volunteers have to find the dog a new home.

Dogs don’t always fit into people’s lifestyles. A person that is away from home often will not be able to care for a dog properly. High energy dogs will not fit into the lifestyle of a low energy person.


You need to plan and prepare completely when giving a dog as a gift. Getting or giving a dog is a big decision that should not be decided on a whim.

You must talk to the prospective recipient to make sure they want a pet. They may not want a pet or they may not want to dedicate the time, energy, or money to care for a pet.

Discuss dog breeds with the recipient to make sure the characteristics of the dog will match the lifestyle of the recipient.

Christmas Gift

Most families are very busy at Christmas time. A new dog or puppy should be introduced into a new household during a calm time, not the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

Wait until all the decorations are put away and all of your visitors have gone home. Introduce the pet slowly to their new home in a calm state.

Adoption Fee

dog in bedInstead of giving a dog or puppy for Christmas as a present, give the person an adoption fee from your local shelter. You can also include pictures of the dogs and puppies that are available for adoption.

After the decorations are put away and everything is back to normal, take your gift recipient to your local shelter to choose the perfect dog or puppy.

I, personally, would never give a dog or puppy as a gift unless I have thoroughly discussed it with the recipient. They would have to really want a dog and be able to care for the dog for it’s lifetime. Also, it would have to be a dog that I could bring into my home if necessary.


Consider making a donation to your local dog shelter in the person’s name. Shelters are always in need and the dogs will be very grateful.

Making a donation in someone’s name, makes the person feel great, the dogs feel great, and the volunteers are very happy! It’s a win-win for everyone!

Leave a comment below to share a story about your dog or ask a question. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.