To give or not to give, that is the question.

12/1/10

Don’t be tempted to give (or accept) a “free” dog (or any pet for that matter) as a gift. Even animals that are “given” away are far from free. There is 24/7/365 care for 10+ years, food, supplies, training, regular vet bills and more if the pet becomes sick or is injured. Deciding to add a four-legged friend to one’s family is a big decision that should not be made lightly. So many times after the “cuteness” of that sweet little puppy wears off around Valentine’s Day, Animal Shelters start filling up with the pups that are still peeing on the floor, barking, jumping, chewing, the kids aren’t feeding/watering them anymore, etc.  All these things, and more,  should be considered well in advance and discussed thoroughly before adding a pet to the family.  We’ve gotten lots of dog-related calls over the years from people looking for a dog, trying to get rid of dog, wanting advice about their dog, etc.  Here’s two of those calls:

I had a family call here earlier this year that had just gotten a “free” dog they found listed in Uncle Henry’s.  While on the call, I could hear the dog barking very loudly the whole time while someone else was screaming, DOWN! DOWN!”  in the background.  They didn’t have transportation to get the dog to the Dog Obedience Classes we were getting ready to start and also had some physical limitations that made it impossible to get the large dog outside and exercised as much as it needed.  They asked me what I thought and I told them that I thought they had chosen a dog that would be better suited with another family that had lots of room for the large dog to get out and about to play and run around.  I advised them to call the previous owner to see if they would take the dog back and, if they were to get a dog, to get a very small, older, trained dog that would be happy to be inside most of the time and enjoy being a lap dog.  They should also FIRST decide how much money they had available to set aside a budget for food, vet bills, etc.



My niece called me last year to see about getting her mother, my sister, a puppy for Christmas.  I advised her NOT to get a living thing, but a book instead.  My sister loves books, but most important, I thought my sister should read up on the hundreds of dog breeds available to determine, for herself, what breed would be best suited to her family and lifestyle and all that goes into the care and raising of a puppy into an awesome family pet.  I don’t know if she got that book for Christmas or not, but I do know that she ended up adopting a stray kitty, Punkin, that she found on one of her hikes.  Even though this little kitty was free, she had several health issues that needed to be attended to right away that were not free.

We so wish, for the humans and the pets, that people would put the same amount of thought and consideration into getting a pet as they would about having or adopting a baby, it would make it so much better for everyone involved. Do your research! There are thousands of websites out there to provide you with all kinds of things you should consider when giving/getting a pet. Click HERE for just one of them.

Fresh Air Dogs – Your dog’s favorite place to learn, play and stay!

2 Responses

  1. Chris Welsh says:

    I so agree with what you have said about getting a dog, cat or child. It takes lots of reading, research, and then energy and money to truly take good care of an animal or a child.

    It seems that when things don’t go just right, the human throw their hands up in the air, and are done with it all. Very sad. Some just don’t want, or have the brains to do the hard work.

    Thanks for your blog spot.

    • Cynthia says:

      I wish people would really think ahead a bit more … we’ve gotten so many calls from people that, had they put a little more thought into it, may have gotten a different breed more suitable to their lifestyle, or waited until they were better prepared. It’s unfortunate as the animals end up paying for the humans lack of judgment … cms

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