Do people really buy puppies at Christmas?

We all know the familiar Dogs Trust slogan ‘A dog is for life not just for Christmas’ but Holidays4Dogs wondered whether this is still a big problem in the UK and whether there was any evidence to suggest people in large numbers still persist in going out and purchasing puppies as presents at Christmas.

Worryingly, I have seen several television advertisements for pet insurance in recent weeks – one of them with a festive theme.  While none of the adverts openly condone buying puppies for Christmas it does nevertheless suggest that they are appealing to those people who intend to add a puppy to their household over the Christmas holiday period.

Dogs Trust are appealing once again for people not to give puppies as presents in the light of new statistics which show that on-line searches for dogs increases in the run up to the festive holidays. According to the Dogs Trust these statistics represent an increase of 44% in people looking to acquire a puppy in the month of December.

By January the Dogs Trust also report they receive calls every six minutes on average, from people wanting to give up their dogs.  There are no figures available to decipher how many of these acquired dogs for Christmas, but there is the suggestion that despite widespread campaigns from many rescue charities, people are indeed still buying puppies for Christmas.

Why isn’t it a good idea to get a puppy for Christmas?

Owning a dog is a lovely thing for any family and while charities are not discouraging people from doing so, they do urge people that Christmas is not a good time.

Puppies in particular need a great deal of time and attention – something that many families often don’t have at Christmas.  Many families will have visiting relatives and friends, they may go out a great deal and while they may be off work for a few days, before long it is time to return to work and the puppy often becomes a hindrance to normal work and school routines.  If there are children in the family, they can be super excited at Christmas and many young puppies will find the mayhem of Christmas holidays with children too overwhelming.

It is much easier these days to purchase a puppy with the click of a button, but puppies are not gifts to be returned in the New Year once the novelty has worn off.

Most reputable breeders and all re-homing centres will not sell or re-home a puppy, (or adult dog) at Christmas for this reason.  If you really want a puppy; it has to be after careful consideration and lots of research – enjoy your Christmas and look forward to planning for a new dog or puppy in the New Year (there will be plenty of rescue dogs to choose from!) – trust me, having a puppy (or older dog) in the mix when it comes to big family celebrations can sometimes be nothing short of a nuisance for the people involved, as well as being highly unfair on a young pup.  There is every truth in the slogan – ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’.