Giving a dog as a surprise gift during the holiday season

Good Morning CT Weekend

(WTNH)- Cute and cuddly and oh-so-sweet, puppies are eternally appealing. While a darling puppy might seem like the perfect gift choice for your child or loved one, many end up at shelters. Studies show a large number of dogs are surrendered to shelters after the holidays.

Richard and Vicki Horowitz from Bark Busters came to Good Morning Connecticut with four month old Great Dane, Lani Anne, to talk about how to prevent that from happening.

They said if you plan to give a pet as a surprise, you need to realize that the new owners may be too occupied with holiday preparations, celebrations, guests and overall activity to give the new pet the attention it needs for proper housebreaking, create training and overall puppy manners. Be absolutely certain the gift recipient wants a puppy or a dog. A pup is not some battery-operated toy you can play with, then store away in the closet. Introducing a pet during this time may cause stress for both the new pet as well as younger family members.

They say owning a pet is a lifetime commitment that every family member needs to acknowledge. Pets should never be given on an impulse. Adding an animal to the family is an important decision and many things should be considered including, hold family meetings to create rules for the dog, are there other pets in the household, who is financially responsible and who will walk the dog and care for it.

There are better times to get a pet for your home. Richard and Vicki say to improve the chances of a successful transition into your home, introduce pets during a relaxed, quiet time when the family can devote full attention to helping the animal adjust. Also be prepared and have the proper supplies (food, crate, collar, leash, food and water bowls, hard dog appropriate toys) as well as planned visit to the veterinarian. You owe it to your new canine friend to give them every opportunity to develop a long-lasting, loving relationship with its family.

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