Why You Should Not Get Somebody a Puppy for a Surprise Gift

Many people think it would be cute to give somebody they love the gift of a new puppy, but giving a puppy as a surprise gift is generally not recommended.

Dogs are for a Lifetime

Many times puppies are given as gifts on a whim, and without much thought. This happens when people walk by a pet store and see a puppy for sale and buy it for somebody else, who is equally unprepared. When purchased, and given, in this way, it is nearly always a disaster, with the puppy being neglected or given up, usually within the first year.

Bonding Issues

People tend to bond better with a dog they have chosen for themselves. When given a surprise puppy some people just do not bond with it to the same extent they would if they had selected it out of a litter, or from a shelter. The exception would be children who often bond easily to pets, but few children can “really” take care of a puppy without their parents help.

Family Issues

Pets do need to be well planned for and everyone in the household needs to be in agreement before getting a pet.  If, for example, the puppy is given to a child whose parents do not agree with having a pet, the puppy will end up not being cared for by the adults and will suffer in the long run.

Wrong Selection

People often have a breed of dog they consider their favorite. For some people their favorite breed may not be compatible with their lifestyle, as such if that is the type of puppy you get for them, it could be a disaster. As well a person who buys a puppy without knowing its character type and temperament as suited to the persons lifestyle risks getting one that is a total wrong match and again, this often results in a disaster.

Bad Timing

It is best that people be well prepared before getting a puppy, since the first few days with a new puppy can be stressful most people do not get a puppy unless they have time off work to devote to caring for their new pet. Keeping in mind that the house needs to be puppy proofed, and that the person needs to have time to house train the pup, and you can see why they want to be “ready”.


If a person does not want a puppy, or does not want one at that time, or does not want that particular puppy, in many cases you should note they are often non-returnable, or if you do return it, you seldom get your money back.

Not Fair to the Puppy

Ultimately the puppy may suffer in the end from being given as a gift. When unplanned for, not selected well, unprepared for, and so forth, it may not be properly cared for. Puppies who not cared for often become unruly, and are eventually discarded as “problem” dogs. These problem dogs have a hard time finding new homes and often end up unwantedin shelters or are euthanized as being “unadoptable”.

Image via Wikipedia

How to Give Somebody a Puppy!

If you really want to give somebody a puppy, never do it as a surprise. Instead be sure the person indeed wants a puppy. Have them consider some breeds that are appropriate to their lifestyle. If they want a purebred puppy attend a dog show to meet some dog breeders, agree to pay the price for the puppy and have the person get on the list with a reputable breeder for a new puppy.

If the person is not fussy about wanting a purebred (a registered pup) give them a certificate of adoption from your local animal shelter. You pay for the adoption, but they pick the puppy, or dog, of their choice.

Further Reading

Selection and Purchase of a Pup or Dog

Bunnies and Chicks as Easter Gifts

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User Comments
  1. Starpisces

    On September 11, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    I agree with you totally, Brenda. Also, some people may be scared of them too, though they are cute.

  2. LoveDoctor

    On September 12, 2011 at 10:35 am

    These are all very good reasons as to why you should never give someone a pet as a surrpise gift. Good advice.

  3. papaleng

    On September 12, 2011 at 11:50 am

    You have explained it so vividly on why a puppy should not be given as a gift, I shed a smile with your point Non-Returnable.

  4. The Soul Explorer

    On September 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks for your article!

  5. Sceptical Thinker

    On September 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Have to say that you should never give a pet as a gift. Ultimately these animals are not toys that can be discarded when you are fed up with them. You have a responsiblity for the life of the animal . Another article full of common sense advice.


    On October 26, 2011 at 7:15 am

    great ideas

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