A Dog For Christmas?


Looking through some of the more dubious, but well-frequented internet websites, it amazes me how many people are offering puppies, “ready in time for Christmas”. Buying a dog for Christmas, or any pet for that matter, is not advised by welfare charities. This is especially so for those planning to have a busy festive period. Read our Holidays4Dogs article to find out why it’s not a good idea to buy a dog for Christmas.

Every year, animal rescue charities deal with an influx of unwanted dogs, just weeks and sometimes only days, into the New Year. It is a year-on-year problemdog sitting, pet sitting that never seems to go away.

Sadly, puppies are still being bought as Christmas presents. These are often purchased from less reputable sources, since the majority of reputable breeders and charity re-homing centres, will never operate during the run-up to Christmas. Purchasing puppies from dealers and traders, only fuels the trafficking of sick and unhealthy animals.

For anyone thinking of adopting a dog, or puppy, register your interest at one of the many canine charities around the U.K.

If you are thinking of purchasing a puppy for yourself, a relative, or a friend – please, please, think very carefully about this.

A dog is for life.

It is unwise to buy a dog or any pet, as a surprise for someone else. Of course, there may be reasonable exceptions. However, getting a dog, or puppy, over the Christmas holidays is both hard work for the owner involved and potentially distressing for the animal.

Most families find that Christmas time is a busy period in the calendar, leaving little time to get things done.

Bringing a puppy home over the Christmasdog sitting, pet sitting holidays might seem an ideal time when the family are on holiday from work. However, once people return to school and work, the young puppy is left home alone. This can be where problems begin.

With the excitement of Christmas looming, it might be very tempting to purchase that puppy you may have long dreamed of owning. There is no denying it, Christmas is a wonderful time of the year and puppies are incredibly cute. However, impulse buying a puppy for yourself, or as a gift, is frequently fraught with problems.

Almost always, it results in the purchaser regretting their decision. Hence, rescue centres fill up quickly in the new year, with dogs given up by their owners.

By all means, prepare for a new pet over the Christmas holidays. You could even buy themed gifts and equipment for your future new pet. However, it would be better to wait until the celebrations are over, before bringing your new puppy home.

It is much better to think about a puppy, or a new dog, in the context of your normal day-to-day schedule – so wait until you are in your normal daily routine.

Things to think about.

  • Puppies take up an incredible amount of time and energy. Christmas holidays may seem like an ideal time while you have days off. But what about when you return to work?

  • A busy household with lots of people coming and going could be too overwhelming for a young puppy – they need lots of down time. Puppies also need lots of careful, positive socialisation. Some may easily be frightened by the mayhem of Christmas festivities. Others, may become over excitable, or boisterous.

  • Excitable children and visitors requiring your attention over the holiday, will make dog care much more challenging. Is this fair on the dog or, for that matter, family and visitors?

  • Puppies need constant supervision to aid successful house-training. Without this, expect lots of accidents in the house.

  • Puppies can be destructive. They can also get into mischief in the blink of an eye. There will be a lot of food around at Christmas which can be toxic to dogs. This could result in – at best – expensive vets bills.

Final thoughts.

Most reputable breeders will not sell puppies around the Christmas period. In addition, no good breeder will entertain selling a puppy intended as a Christmas gift. Likewise, re-homing centres will not place dogs during the run up to Christmas.

For those who already have a dog, please have a look at our other Holidays 4 Dogs article – The Family Dog at Christmas.