Pet Parent Question: “My son wants a puppy so much. I want to surprise him on his birthday with a puppy. What is the best way to do this?”
The first thing, of course, is to do your research about what kind of dog is best suited for your family lifestyle and where you will get your dog (a responsible breeder or a shelter). Then, prepare your home with everything you and your puppy need: A crate for crate training, food, an identified veterinarian, collar, leash, toys, sleeping bed and food bowls and water bowls. Another option that allows the gift recipient to have more input in the process is to put a certificate for a shelter adoption in a gift box. Then the family can go together, and the child or adult can select the dog that speaks to them. Welcoming a puppy or dog into a family is a big responsibility. Being prepared will get everyone off to a good start.
Donna Chicone is an award-winning author, TEDx speaker and advocate for dogs. She lives in Woodbury. You might find her in pet-assisted therapy work.