Giving a Puppy as a Present

Tips You Need to Know

Sleeping puppy with ribbons and present
Julie Toy / Getty Images

Everyone who adores puppies wants to share the furry love affair and give puppy gifts, but not everyone is ready to receive puppies as gifts. Maybe the recipient will appreciate your thoughtfulness. But don’t gamble with a puppy’s life.

Sure, Grandma is lonely and needs a wagging lap-warmer to keep her company. But she may have other plans, such as traveling to visit all the grandkids. A puppy that chews up Aunt Ethel’s hat collection will cost you favorite nephew status. A busy new parent may want a pup for their kids but have other demands that take priority.

Giving Puppies as Gifts

Before you put a bow around his neck, ask yourself these questions. Will the new puppy owner have the time, ability, and funds to care for the dog over the next 10 to 20 years? Is their space better suited for a Chihuahua or Great Dane? Do they already have a fenced yard? Will Uncle Jim's knees keep up when hunting with that Pointer pup?

Children delight in puppy presents for holiday surprises. But breathing gifts can’t be shoved under the bed and forgotten when the latest must-have-kid-gadget has more appeal. Remember—even if Fluffy is for the kids, the ADULT 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? Be sure that the recipient truly wants and is ready for a puppy. 

I Want a Puppy!

What if the kids, your spouse, Aunt Ethel, or a best friend have made it clear they want a puppy, are prepared for the responsibility and feel ready RIGHT NOW for a furry loved one in their life? You’re sure, and so are they. What can you do?

The time, the place, the person, and the pet must be right for love to bloom into a lifetime commitment. The selection should be made by the person who will live with, care for, and hopefully, fall in love with the baby for the next decade or more. You still want the recipient to make this important choice, so give them that gift. Here are tips for giving puppies as gifts.

4 Steps for Giving Puppies as Gifts

  • Plot With Professionals. Contact the professional breeder, kennel, shelter, and/or rescue organization and explain the situation. Ask them to conspire with you—arrange to pay a deposit, or fund the purchase FOR the recipient, with the puppy to be chosen later. Perhaps also pre-pay puppy clicker training classes for the new family member, or fund the cost of the puppy’s first veterinary visit for puppy shots.
  • Go Shopping. Create a “puppy care package” for the big day. Fill a puppy bed with treats, food, training and grooming equipment, and lots—lots!—of appropriate toys. Don’t forget to include a book or two about the puppy’s breed, training tips, or other fun information.
  • Get Creative. Why not make a “gift certificate” that details this special surprise, and have that ready to present on the big day. Perhaps it could be packaged inside a pet carrier, or in an envelope attached to the collar of a stuffed St. Bernard toy.
  • Take Your Time. Holidays can be hectic when normal routines go out the window. New puppies need the stability of knowing what to expect. But you can “gift” with the certificate on a special day, and the recipient can choose the best time to bring the pet home. Hopefully, you also have the fun of accompanying the person later, when they choose their own furry wonder.

    When you do it right, gifting with a puppy can be magic. You’re not only giving the pet to a person—you’re giving a special human to a waiting puppy.