Christmas is an exciting time of year and kids ask for all of the things they ever wished for. It’s inevitable that one of them asks for a puppy for Christmas. But, puppies as gifts might not be the best idea.
There’s a lot to consider when getting a new puppy. You’ll need time to train them, take them out to do their business, and even visit the vet for all of their puppy shots.
It’s not only a commitment of time though.
You’ll need money for supplies: Toys, a crate, those vet visits, food, a collar and lead.
There are other things to consider as well, but we wanted to get you thinking before we dove into more specific things.
It often looks to be the ideal situation. We see it on T.V. and in movies all the time.
An excited child runs down to find a puppy with a big bow waiting for them under the Christmas tree. They’re both so excited to see each other and are instant best friends.
Is it really all it’s cracked up to be though? We ask you to hear us out and reconsider getting that Christmas puppy.
Important Considerations for Puppies as Gifts
There are so many things to consider when getting a new puppy. We touched on some of them already, but we’re going to look more in-depth.
While it can seem like a sweet gesture on the surface, a puppy is a living creature and requires a commitment. You might think you’re ready, but it turns out that you weren’t quite prepared or the person you had in mind wasn’t ready yet either.
The Holiday are Busy
While the gift of a puppy for Christmas may seem like a good idea, it might be a bigger time commitment than anyone is ready for during Christmas.
Most of us are travelling, visiting relatives, spending time with the kids, or participating in seasonal activities. That leaves very little time for anything extra.
A puppy will require time whether you can dedicate it or not. There’s basic obedience training, house breaking, crate training, and most importantly bonding!
Those first few months in a new home are important and formative for a puppy and most people won’t have the proper amount of time to dedicate to their new canine companion during the holidays.
Puppies are a Financial Commitment
Most of us spend more than usual during Christmas and the holidays. We pay to travel and we pay for gifts.
Whether you have a large family or a smaller one: that money adds up.
You may find a puppy much more expensive than you originally thought.
Aside from the cost of the puppy which can be expensive on its own, you’ll need other items as well.
You’ll be looking at pet beds, crates, toys, collars, leashes, food and water bowls, vet bills, and all of the other “start up” costs associated with getting a puppy.
It can be very hard to provide those things properly if you’ve already spent a large amount of your holiday funds on other things.
Puppies as Gifts can be an Impulse Purchase
You see an ad for puppies online, one on your local shelters website, or you see one in person that’s up for adoption and you just have to take them home.
They’re so cute, cuddly, and you’re sure you’ll be best friends in no time.
But, it was an impulse. You haven’t been planning for a puppy or preparing your home for one.
You haven’t talked to your spouse about committing to a puppy.
The kids have been asking and they’ll be excited, but they won’t be financially responsible and if they’re younger, they won’t have a hand in helping with training.
You’ll be utterly unprepared and may even find yourself having to give up your beloved puppy, because your family just wasn’t ready.
It’s a sad scenario, but it does happen. You don’t want to be the one returning an impulse Christmas puppy this holiday season.
Awareness of Puppy Mills and Responsible Breeding at Christmas
During the Christmas season many people feel an urge to bring an adorable puppy into their family. However it's important to consider the effects that this seasonal demand for puppies can have particularly when it comes to where these puppies come from.
It is essential to differentiate between getting a puppy from a breeder and obtaining one from a puppy mill, especially during the holiday season.
Puppy Mills: Breeding for Profit During High Demand Seasons
Breeding for Christmas:
Unlike responsible breeders, who plan litters based on the health and well-being of their dogs, puppy mills often time their breeding cycles to align with high-demand periods like Christmas.
This practice results in a surge of puppies available precisely when families are looking to purchase them as gifts.
Puppy mills prioritise profit over the welfare of the animals. Puppies from these facilities are often not health-checked, may be separated from their mothers too early, and could suffer from long-term health and behavioural problems due to poor breeding practices and inadequate early socialisation.
Responsible Breeders: Coincidence vs. Intentional Timing
Responsible breeders focus on the health, temperament, and genetic quality of their litters. They do not breed their dogs to coincide with holidays or high-demand seasons.
If a litter from a responsible breeder is available around Christmas, it is usually by coincidence, not by design.
When adopting a puppy, especially during the holiday season, it's vital to research and ensure that the puppy comes from a reputable and ethical source.
This includes visiting the breeder, meeting the puppy's parents, and observing the environment in which the puppies are raised.
Educating and Encouraging Responsible Choices
During the holiday season it becomes crucial to educate individuals considering canine ownership, on the significance of promoting responsible breeding methods and refraining from impulsive purchases.
By advocating for adoption from shelters or purchasing pets from breeders we can effectively diminish the demand that sustains puppy mills thus ensuring a happier and healthier beginning for our canine companions..
You Shouldn’t Get Puppies as Gifts for Other People
If you and your spouse have been planning in secret for a puppy to surprise the kids and you know that you’re ready, that’s one thing.
You committed a long time ago. You’ve been ready and you’re set up for success. You may have even altered holiday plans and let friends and family know that you’ve committed to a puppy this holiday season.
If you’re looking to get a puppy for a close friend or someone else’s child, you should really reconsider.
Maybe they’ve been talking about getting a puppy for a while, so you know they want one, but are they really ready?
You don’t know if they’ve been preparing their home and puppy proofing. You don’t know if they’ve got supplies on hand. You don’t know if they’re financially ready either.
Not only that, but you're purchasing them a living being that needs time, attention, and love. If they can’t take care of the puppy, it could get injured or become ill. Maybe they’ll even have to give it up because they weren’t ready to commit yet.
You have no way of knowing whether they’re prepared or not, so it’s best to skip out on a puppy as a gift.
This is especially true if you’re considering getting someone else’s child a puppy.
You’ll get their hopes up and they’ll most likely become horribly upset when they have to give their new friend up.
If You do Get a Puppy for Christmas
As stated above, we believe there are a lot of good reasons not to get a puppy for Christmas, but if you’re going to, you should make sure you’re well prepared.
There are some things you can do to make getting a puppy for Christmas better for your family and your new canine companion.
Have a Family Meeting
This may sound a little odd, but it’s very important. Especially for a family with children.
You’ll need to sit down and make sure everyone is on the same page.
They’ll need to understand the commitment of a puppy, how training is going to be handled, and expectations for care should be discussed.
Who is going to help feed, walk, and train the puppy? What is this schedule going to look like?
These are all important considerations.
Wait Until After Christmas to get the Puppy
We know that your kids coming downstairs to a puppy on Christmas morning seems idealistic. Everyone wants to see their kids excited on Christmas morning, but we ask that you wait.
Get the puppy right after Christmas once your schedule returns to something a little more normal.
Some time after New Years is the most ideal. Everyone will be done with celebrations and getting back to their normal routine.
Prepare for the Puppy Beforehand
Make a list and purchase all puppy supplies before you bring the puppy home.
Make sure your home is set up and puppy proof beforehand.
This will make bringing the actual puppy home a lot less stressful for everyone involved.
It will also give you time to decide on a training schedule.
Remember! Whether you have time or not, the puppy has to be trained. You will have to make time for them.
Alternatives to Puppies as Gifts
If you or someone you know is set on getting a puppy, you can prepare for getting a puppy without purchasing the puppy.
Gift Cards to Specialty Stores
Puppies are expensive. There’s no doubt about that.
You can help someone prepare for their new puppy by providing them some monetary assistance. Every little bit will help.
You may not know exactly what they need for their new puppy, so if you get them a gift card, they can purchase whatever they need.
Training Supplies as a Gift
Puppies require a lot of training. If you or the person who is getting a puppy is a new dog owner, you may consider training supplies.
You can purchase some books on how to train dogs.
You can get a treat pouch and some training treats in preparation.
If you know your friend very well, you can ask them if they would like you to pay for a training course for them.
There are a lot of ways to help facilitate training.
Toys, Toys, and More Toys
Puppies are going to go through toys. They’re going to be teething and they’re still learning how to play and chew properly.
Something like the Fenrir Hammer is a great gift.
It can be used for training, as a chew toy, or as a tasty treat.
These multipurpose toys will be a priceless addition to someone who’s getting a puppy.
Consider Hand-me Downs
If your dog has outgrown a crate or a dog bed, but it’s still in good condition: consider giving it to your friend who’s getting their first puppy.
It’s a great, eco-friendly way to keep these items out of the landfill while helping a friend set up for their new canine companion.
FAQs About Puppies as Gifts
What should I do to prepare my home for a new puppy?
Puppy-proofing your home and purchasing necessary supplies in advance can make the transition smoother for both you and the puppy.
Are there alternatives to giving a puppy as a gift?
Yes, you can consider alternatives such as gift cards to pet stores, training supplies, toys, or hand-me-down items to help someone prepare for a new puppy.
Should I surprise someone else with a puppy as a gift?
Surprising someone with a living being like a puppy is not advisable, as you cannot be sure if they are ready for the responsibility.
Are holidays like Christmas a good time to introduce a new puppy to the family?
The holiday season can be hectic, making it challenging to provide a new puppy with the necessary time, attention, and training.
What should I consider before giving a puppy as a Christmas gift?
You should think about the time commitment, financial responsibilities, and whether the recipient is truly prepared for a new puppy.