White Labradore with red Gift Bow
Can gifting a dog ever be a good thing?

The answer is…yes!

As long as the person receiving the dog is fully aware of the breed they are getting, are delighted with that fact, have researched the breed thoroughly, and if the breed’s personality and requirements are totally compatible with the person’s lifestyle then gifting a dog can be a good thing.

Statistics now prove what we dog lovers have known all along – they really are great for our health.

Clinical statistics show that when we pat a friendly dog certain chemicals are released from the brain including Oxytocin, Prolactin and Dopamine that reduce stress, reduce pain, reduce heart rate, increase the immune system and have an overall feel-good effect on us.

I’m delighted to say that our darling dogs receive the same benefits! No wonder then that dogs are one of the most favourite “gifts” to a loved one. However, to ensure the dog and person receiving the dog are a match made in heaven there are a few considerations.

But beware! An unwanted gifted dog can turn into misery for both person and dog. Considering the dog’s breed requirements and the person’s lifestyle are paramount for success.

Never surprise a person with a dog. Preparation is essential. Firstly, establish the person would love a dog and has the time, energy and resources to commit to the dog’s daily exercise, happiness and wellbeing.

Then you need to select the right breed and temperament. Adult dogs should strongly be considered as they will often come toilet trained and with some obedience and life experience plus will be truly grateful to be adopted and loved. Puppies are like having a baby in the house and require a huge amount of time and attention.

Cuteness is not a factor of incompatibility!

Think of the person’s lifestyle and how much time and resources are available then research the internet, talk to dog owners and shortlist 5 suitable breeds. Call breeders and discuss the dog’s needs fully. Be aware they will try to sell you a dog if one is available! When you have one breed in mind, contact all the shelters and rescue groups for that breed.

Crossbreeds of the breed you want should also be highly considered. Crossbreeds can be more balanced!

Most rescue groups interview prospective adopters to ensure a good match with a homeless dog. This is an ideal situation as the emotional element will be replaced with practicality by the group’s protocol. I know that Paws Rescue managed by Denise Becus in Sydney is especially thorough in this and has a high success rate for perfect matches.

If the person has never kept a dog before then I’d fully recommend before adopting a dog for life to foster a shelter dog first to see if a dog suits their lifestyle! Talk to pounds, shelters and rescue groups about this. Contact the shelters below and talk with them about fostering possibilities.

I guarantee that rescuing a dog from a shelter or pound will be one of the best gifts you can ever give. Certainly for the person but much more so for the dog but be sure your selection is due to research, the dog’s personality and breed rather than good looks!

With all this firmly in mind, two hearts can come together to share their lives. Surely there can be no better gift!