December 16, 2015

Maybe Re-Think Puppies as Christmas Presents

Author: Gail Brasie


Thinking About Gifting A Puppy? Be Ready For A 15+ Year Gift.

At some point, most kids ask for a puppy for Christmas. It’s understandable: puppies are adorable, they bring joy wherever they go, and dogs enrich the lives of the people who live with them. But a dog or puppy as a Christmas present may be a nightmare wrapped up in a furry, squirmy, unbelievably adorable package, so here are some points to consider.

  • The Holidays are an especially chaotic time and the addition of a puppy may be too much. Choosing a time when you have more flexibility in your schedule may be best.
  • All the holiday happenings may be too stressful for a brand-new dog. Instead, consider ushering in a new pup when life is calmer.
  • Dogs are a lifelong commitment. You’ll need to consider the implications of a fifteen-or-so-year commitment for your dog’s whole lifespan.
  • Pets shouldn’t really be a surprise. Dog ownership entails a lot of work, training, and a fair amount of money, long-term. If your family is serious about getting a dog, please consider lots of family discussions in order to plan for the new addition.
  • Chicago winters are brutal. Yes, you’ll have to take any dog out for potty and exercise in the winter, but with the newness and inherent chaos of raising a puppy, choosing a milder time of year may save you some hassle.
  • As this Slate article and this article point out, reputable breeders and shelters won’t even sell or adopt out dogs for the holidays. So if you find someone who is willing to sell you a puppy for Christmas morning they may not be the kind of folks you really want to do business with anyway.
  • This article and several other sources suggest that for families who are absolutely certain they want a dog or puppy could do well to buy some staple dog gear and items for Christmas. Books on breeds, for example, or essential items such as beds, crates, and leashes, could all be great gifts for a family who is studiously preparing to add a puppy or adopted dog to their lives.

It’s a bummer to have Christmas visions and dreams dashed, but saving the joy of getting a puppy or adopted dog for a different time is really saving everyone from potential disappointment, including the puppy. Don’t be discouraged; a little patience and a little planning will definitely pay off!

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