Here’s some information from the point of view from those of us in rescue.
Please take the time to make a logical, non-emotional, decision. That adorable pup at the shelter, in the back of pickup truck in a parking lot – – the kitten playing with a toy on facebook that is so adorable – – that four-legged bouncing, purring soon-to-be pet is a commitment on YOUR PART – – not the recipients.
Please do not get an adorable little bouncing puppy for your parents if your parents are no longer able to leap over kids, keep their balance when they step on a lego piece or have little/no interest in getting up/down several times a day to let a puppy outside. They may be ready for an older, quieter pet who has some gray around their mouth and moves slowly ….but really prefers sleeping on a lap all day. The older dog isn’t as cute – but sure fits the lifestyle of your loved one.
You have a small child – – younger than 3 — – who’s not been around lots of animals and/or is the bounciest two legged bundle of love you’ve ever seen. Wait – – at least until they’re 5 – – to get them a puppy. It’s not fair to the puppy when they finally nip your child because they’re tired (the puppy that is) of having their tail pulled, their eyes poked or lugged around in the most uncomfortable positions. This does not necessarily apply if you live on a farm, are around animals all the time and your child understands how to interact with 4-legged wonders.
Most importantly, be prepared to add the present (dog/puppy/cat/kitten) to your household. All too often – – way – way – way too often – the present ends up at the pound and a life of uncertainty unless rescued by an organization dedicated to finding good homes for unwanted pets. Pets are a life-time (their lifetime) commitment – – if you’re not ready to be part of that commitment – – please, please, please do not give the four-legged bundle of joy to someone as a present. All too often the present is regifted back to you.