HomeChild CareIt’s the season and I want people to be informed about “The Christmas Puppy” – by Lexiann Grant?
Posted in Child Care on 4th January 2011

It’s the season and I want people to be informed about “The Christmas Puppy” – by Lexiann Grant?

by Lexiann Grant
Email: lexiann@frognet.net
Copyright© 1999

The following article has been provided by the above author. All copy rights are held by the author and any reproduction of this material in whole or in part must have the authors approval.

“Accepting deposits now for Christmas puppies,” classified advertisements read at this time of year. Are you considering getting a dog for Christmas or thinking about giving someone else a puppy as a present? Do pets make good Christmas gifts?

“Puppies just don’t make good presents because they need so much attention and care,” said Candy Roberts, Humane Officer at the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley.

Puppies require constant attention and supervision when you first bring them home. They must be fed three to four times daily. Housetraining must start immediately and is a time-consuming process. Puppies usually need to go out every time they eat, drink, play or wake up from a nap, including the sleepiest hours of these cold, winter nights.

During the holiday season people are so busy that they don’t have the time it takes to fulfill a new pup’s ’round the clock demands. It’s unfair to bring a young dog into the chaos of holiday celebrations and ignore their needs.

“Christmas is not a good time to introduce a new animal into a household. It is best done later, when things are calmer and there’s more time to help the puppy adjust to their new surroundings,” said Daneen Pacifico, board member of the Humane Society of Parkersburg, West Virginia.

With all the activity during this season, it’s possible that the puppy may be frightened or distressed. A new pet may also be upset by the stressful emotions of the humans around them. A stressed pet, particularly an energetic and playful pup who is left unsupervised, is more likely to get into trouble.

The rich fare served during the holidays can irresistibly tempt a constantly-hungry pup to steal and devour these goodies from the table or garbage. Another temptation is to hand feed a new puppy tidbits as a special meal. Having access to spicy, fatty or excessively-sweet Christmas foods is a recipe for having a sick puppy.

Other Christmas dangers for new pets include their investigations of shiny decorations with wonderfully strange odors. Most puppies explore by mouthing objects that interest them. If a pup chews on decorative lights, extension cords, glass ornaments, tinsel or leaves from seasonal plants, they could become injured, seriously ill or even die. A dead puppy is not a good Christmas present.

What about additional health considerations of Christmas puppies? Were the sire and dam healthy? How about further back in the pedigree — are there any genetic illnesses — did the breeder spend the time and money to check?

Puppies advertised as Christmas presents have most often been bred to bring their owner extra cash for the holidays. Since breeding a healthy litter costs more than can be recovered in sales, these so-called breeders may have cut corners by withholding important veterinary and nutritional care to the pups.

Also, was the litter an accident? Most reputable breeders do not have litters available during the holidays because puppies that are given as presents seldom remain in their first home. Some of these puppies end up at animal shelters, where parents may bring their children in at the last minute to pick a pet as a Christmas present.

“They don’t need or really want a dog when it gets that close. It’s a last minute thing then. Getting a pet isn’t a spur of the moment decision,” said Roberts.

Prospective owners need time to prepare for the family’s new addition. The purchase of a puppy should be part of a well-researched, thorough and forward-looking plan.

“A puppy is not something that looks cute and is taken on a whim, then after a short time is returned to the shelter. We close the shelter to the public the day before Christmas to try and prevent adoptions made on a whim. These are living creatures that deserve a huge commitment. To do that someone must be ready to take on this big responsibility.” said Pacifico.

Roberts said, “After the excitement is over, many kids get tired of taking care of a puppy and the parents won’t do it because they’re too busy. So, about half of our puppies that are adopted during the holiday season end up being brought back to the shelter. Pets aren’t like toys. When you get bored with them you can’t throw them away and get a different ‘toy.’ If you do that with a dog, it hurts them.”

There are more reasons for never giving an animal as a present. Selecting a pet is a personal choice, not something one individual can do for another. What if the receiver doesn’t want the puppy? Do the kids and the new dog get along? This should be determined in advance of permanently acquiring a pet.

“We advocate that if a person wants a puppy, they should choose the pet themselves so that it is compatible with their lifestyle. They must want it, agree to accept responsibility for it and be willing to provide care for the animal,” said Pacifico.

If the decision to get or give a puppy as a present has definitely been made – hopefully with much forethought – breeders and humane officers make the following recommendations. Give a gift certificate, a stuffed animal or pet-care items at Christmas. Wait to bring the new pup home until after the holidays are finished and people’s homes and schedules are less hectic. The right puppy will be worth the wait.

More people buy puppies as presents than other types of pets, but animals such as kittens, ferrets, birds and reptiles should also not be given during the holidays for the same reasons.

The commitment to a newly acquired pet must last the lifetime of that animal, not just on Christmas Day. So before deciding to give a puppy – or any other animal – as a gift remember: Pets Are Forever.
I’m just so tired of seeing people – mostly kids – post questions on here on how to convince others to buy them a puppy as an X-mas gift. Poor Puppies.

Best answer(s):

Answer by jguydhr23
I definitely agree – Its great to keep posting this.

Answer by Shadow’s Melon
Puppies don’t make good xmas gifts. Glad you posted this!

Answer by bassetmom
Thank you so much for starting early to deter people from getting puppies as Christmas presents! I much appreciate you posting this 🙂

Answer by â™ Marâ™ 
amen to that

Answer by Laura ♥
Thanks Rosa! Is there a link to this?


Thanks for the link Rosa — saving this one for posterity too !

Answer by a gal and her dog
It’s true. As someone who wanted a puppy for Christmas and my birthday every year for most of my life, I can tell you that it’s just as rewarding to have adopted my dog in April. I know that I have Christmas covered for me for quite a while. 🙂 The humane society in my area offers an adoption kit, with a gift certificate and toys in a cute basket. I think it’s an awesome idea – that way the recipient has time to think about the specifics of getting a pet and prepare the home instead of having an animal just given to them.

Thanks so much for sharing this!

Answer by Irishlover
Yeah thats sooooooooo true!!!!!!

Answer by Goldengal
Morning Rosa!

Great post! Just another tip for people is that most of the good and responsible breeders will not allow a pup to be a Christmas gift. Never a Christmas surprise either. They need to know where their pups are going and to who!
Most and I did this too will not have pups available for Christmas time.

Thanks for the great Post! Have a great Sunday!

Answer by Honeysadsam
I’ve been seeing such kind of posts too. Thanks for sharing. I can’t imagine how many puppies will turn to shelters after the holiday is over.

Answer by Rich in Maine
Good to see this topic coming the light. Do yourself another favor, before getting a puppy – do some research. It is extremely sad for the puppy to be given up just because you chose the wrong breed. Many people don’t want large or giant breed dogs. But Newfoundlands, Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernards, Bernese Mountain Dogs and others are absolutely adorable beyond words when they are puppies. But they are going to group up to be BIG Dogs. I have seen alot of 4 month old giant breed puppies up for adoption either by the buyers, or local shelters. I have 2 Giant Breeds myself, but I knew what I was getting BEFORE I got them. This way they are happy and I am happy.

Don’t underestimate a mixed breed or “mutt” as some people call them. I’ve had three mixed breeds, two German Shepard/Lab mixes and an Akita/Lab mix. All of them are smart, playful, loving, and wonderful dogs. I wouldn’t give these dogs up for anything (not even huge amounts of cash!). Mix breeds often are healthier and fun fewer risks of those ailments particular to one breed. Always have your mixed breed puppy examined by a Vet as soon as possible to head off any problems (because most of them are from backyard or accidental pregnancies). Better to start off healthy and nip any problems in the bud as soon as possible.

Knowing what kind of dog you want, what size of the dog you want, what kind of temperment the dog you want has, and the environment in which you will raise this dog (what are the dog’s needs), and being able to answer these questions before you get that cute and irresistable puppy, will ensure many years of love and happiness in your home.

When one takes in a puppy, kitten or other animal to be admitted to the family, it is a sacred trust – for every life is a treasure, precious and special. Thanks!

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