What could bring more joy this Christmas than a wriggly new puppy? Though your recipient could love a puppy for many years, it’s not appropriate to give it to them as a surprise during the holidays. There are better ways to help someone bring a lovely bundle of fur into their life than to put it in a box and wrap it with a bow.
Too Many Puppies Are Given As Gifts Every Year
Regardless of the time of year, always adopt from a rescue centre or purchase from a reputable breeder. Around the holidays, there’s a huge increase in backyard breeders and illegal puppy importers who do not care about animals. All they care about is making money, so they do not provide any veterinary care, keep and transport animals in cramped, unsanitary conditions, and sell sick puppies to unsuspecting buyers.
Even if you buy responsibly, giving a puppy as a gift is not in the puppy’s best interest. After the holidays, rescue centres are often overwhelmed with “Christmas puppies” that the recipients were not prepared to properly train and care for.
Why Most People Don’t Want A Puppy For Christmas
You might know someone who has their heart set on a specific breed. Maybe they can’t stop talking about the name they’ve already chosen, or even the breeder they plan to purchase the puppy from. Regardless, picking out a puppy is a personal choice. Before bringing a puppy home, the adopter or buyer should meet the litter, the parents, and the person adopting out the puppy. Some people think they want a girl, but change their mind when they fall in love with a boy puppy with their ideal temperament.
Also, the adoption fee or purchase price is truly the least of a puppy owner’s expenses. Most of the time, you need to bring the puppy to their new veterinarian right away to get their next round of vaccinations, update their microchip information, get a checkup, and, often, deworming.
The average annual cost to maintain a dog is £1,183, which sums up to about £18,500 over the course of the dog’s lifetime. If someone you know says they cannot afford a dog yet, they’re probably right, and paying for the adoption and a few toys isn’t going to be much help.
Your gift recipient may also not be ready to commit to weeks of initial house training, cleaning up pee and poo, daily walks, nail clipping, vet visits, and everything else that comes with having a new puppy.
Why You Shouldn’t Give Your Kids A Puppy For Christmas
Adding a Christmas puppy to your own household can work out if you keep in mind that your kids are, most likely, not going to be able to significantly contribute to the care and expenses of dog ownership. Even though a puppy gifted to your own children for Christmas will technically be your dog, it’s still better to avoid gifting the puppy as a surprise.
When your kids receive a puppy with a little red bow around its neck, they may have a harder time seeing it as a family member that needs care – not a present that, like the others, they will grow tired of by New Year’s.
Get your kids involved as you prepare to bring the puppy home. Discuss the best breed for your home and lifestyle, or if you’d prefer a mixed breed dog. Ask your kids to commit to a responsibility, like picking up poo in the backyard or daily feeding, but double-check their work to ensure the puppy is never without proper care.
When your kids are part of the planning process, and have to wait months leading up to bringing the puppy home, they’re sure to appreciate the puppy more, and you’ll have more time to prepare them for the responsibility, adventure and commitment that awaits.
How To Gift A Puppy Without REALLY Gifting A Puppy
If you’d really like to give the gift of puppy love this holiday season, there are responsible ways to do it.
You can purchase a gift voucher from the rescue centre or breeder and wrap it up with a stuffed animal that looks like their favorite breed. You can also wrap up a selection of puppy toys, gift certificates for puppy supplies, or books. These things will come in handy when your friend or family member is ready to bring a puppy into their home.