Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Should You Give a Puppy as a Holiday Gift?

Puppy Rocco
Tis the season for gift giving, but there is never a good time of year to give a puppy as a surprise present.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) reminds those considering giving a puppy as a gift to think twice.

“A dog is a serious commitment, and you should never surprise someone with a puppy they aren’t ready to keep for a lifetime,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson.  “A dog needs to suit your lifestyle, and it’s important to consider the energy level, size, coat and temperament of a puppy – as well as your own readiness – before you make a decision.”

Consider wrapping dog supplies such as a leash or bowl to symbolize the gift of a puppy to come – this will give the recipient time to do their research and prepare for the commitment.

During their critical first weeks at home, puppies require a great deal of time, love, and attention. Therefore, any prospective owner should always carefully consider their schedule and circumstances before bringing a new pet into their home.

This is especially true during the holidays when parties, travel, or out-of-town visitors might adversely affect your ability to give a new puppy all the attention he deserves. If your holidays will be hectic, wait until after the hustle and bustle.

Are the holidays ALWAYS a bad time to bring home a puppy?

Not necessarily, but you DO need to be prepared and have the right circumstances.  While for most folks the holidays are way too hectic a time to safely add a puppy to the mix, in some circumstances it might be the perfect time... but only with careful planning.

While Rocco came to live with me in December, two years ago, I had been planning for his arrival for months. And, since I already had a Havanese,  I already was certain the breed was right for me. 

Also, for me the holidays meant I had extra time to spend at home with my young puppy and I wasn't expecting a lot of holiday chaos or visitors in my home. 

The most important thing is to pick the right time for YOU. Getting off to the right start is super important for the well-being of your pup so you can enjoy your relationship for years to come.

Have you ever brought a pup home during the holidays?
Tell us about it in the comments below.


  1. For us it would not be the right time but everyone is different. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. Puppy and holiday are a bad combination for so many reasons. Mom adopted a dog right after Christmas ages ago and had to immediately undecorate as ornaments were flying, the dog was into stuff, but it was alright because she wanted that dog more than anything. Most gifted puppies are to people that have no idea what they are in store for.

  3. Only to a responsible pet owner. Otherwise No Way
    Lily & Edward

    1. And, only if they expect it and had some say in the choosing of the pet!

  4. I think if the giver truly knows the person and KNOWS that a pet is wanted and will be well cared for, why not? As far as the holidays are concerned, it can be done.

    Logan was a sorta gift. I fell in love with a dog in the shelter where I worked. It was right around my birthday. My mother gave me $100 for the adoption fee and doggie paraphernalia. There wasn't a whole lot of planning, as he was not considered a "good candidate for adoption" and his time was running out. (Turned out to be an awesome dog once he was nursed back to health).

    Jedi was born the beginning of October and I brought him home shortly after Thanksgiving. I took 3 weeks off to bond with the puppy, Hubby worked part time, and my adult children had odd schedules, so the puppy was never crated for more than a few hours. We had a tree -- it was small, elevated and behind a barrier. Guests were in and out all month. They were asked to interact with the puppy (socialization!) but not overwhelm him. We skipped a few holiday parties to stay home with the puppy and waited for the holiday blockbusters (Hobbit, Les Miserables) to come out on DVD. (That was hard for me.) We made it work.

    On the flipside, some people shouldn't get pets regardless of the season, gift or not. We have a Home for the Holidays Mega Adoption Fair going on right now, all pets $20. What kills me is that I KNOW that 33% of those pets will be back in the shelter within the next 90 days.

    1. Those low-cost adoptions concern me. While it's a great opportunity for a responsible owner, I agree that many of those pets aren't going to find a "forever" home. Your experience with Jedi was similar to mine with Rocco. A responsible owner can make it work and the extra socialization done the right way (like you did!) is a GOOD thing! I think the key is that you made the decision to do what you did with both pups and neither was a SURPRISE. Thanks for commenting!

  5. I think that it is a good time but only if you are really ready for one and have been considering this for a long time. I think the real problem with getting a puppy as a gift you cannot do it on an impulse. That is where I think the problem comes in. Sometimes people were not really planning on getting this or think someone they know should have a puppy those are the bad times to get a puppy. Do not give someone a puppy cause you think they need one that is a situation for disaster. If you are not prepared for a puppy at the holidays do not get one. One thing I think especially in my area right now shelters are promoting adopting like crazy and reducing fees that is when people end up making an impulse decision and the dog suffers cause it ends up back at the shelter or being handed off. That is not good. so Puppies are gifts can be good if you have really thought about it and its something you have been planning for working towards getting not just cause its the holidays.