There are many who argue that dogs shouldn’t be given as gifts at Christmastime. Even though it may seem like a kind thing to do, there are actually several reasons why this might not be the best idea. In this article, we will discuss 7 of those reasons.
(Of course, there are always exceptions to rules. For example, if you know for sure that the person you’re giving a dog to will take care of it forever, then it’s okay. Or, if you’re a parent who wants to give a puppy to your kid as a gift, and you’re prepared to take care of the pet most of the time, that’s fine, too.)
So, if you’re thinking about buying a puppy for your friends or family, read this first to make sure it’s the right decision!
Here’s The Unfortunate Truth:
Across the globe, countless animal shelters see a return spike in adopted pets right after the holiday season. This applies not only to dogs, but to all other animals as well (such as cats, rabbits, etc.). Furthermore, this is due to the fact that many people give pets as gifts without thinking through all of the consequences, such as caring for them long-term or the financial obligations involved.
7 Reasons Why Dogs Shouldn’t Be Given as Gifts
1. Dogs Need a LOT of Time and Attention
Pets need time and attention… and a lot of it! They’re not just cute little accessories that you can just leave in the corner of your house. Rather, in reality, dogs need to be:
- Taken to the vet
- Played with each day, etc.
If you’re thinking of giving a dog as a gift, you need to first know with 100% certainty that the person will have enough time or energy to commit to all this care.
2. Dogs Need Training
An untrained puppy can be a nightmare for those who receive it as a gift. Because remember: having a puppy is kind of like having a toddler. If they aren’t given regular naps and enough mental/physical stimulation, they’ll have “tantrums” and act out.
Not to mention, untrained puppies will likely go to the bathroom inside the house, destroy whatever they can find, and bark incessantly… Simply because they’re young and don’t know any better!
As such, puppies need to be trained in how to behave properly. Moreover, they also need to be taught basic commands such as sit, stay, come, leave it, and so on. Committing to puppy training requires time, patience, and (if hiring a professional) money.
So, you need to ask yourself: will the person you’re giving the puppy to will have enough patience or skill to train them properly? If not, then it’s probably best not to give them a dog for Christmas.
PRO TIP: If you’re adamant about giving someone you know a puppy for Christmas, why not also gift them with QC Pet Studies’ self-paced, online Dog Training Course as well? As a result, they can learn (at their own pace) how to train their pup properly – and even earn a professional certification for doing so!
3. Dogs Cost Money
Dogs come with financial obligations that need to be taken into consideration before getting one. Case in point: the annual cost of pet ownership in the United States can range anywhere from $400 to $4,000… And this doesn’t include the one-time costs pet owners need to pay in the first year for things like vaccinations, spaying/neutering, etc.
So, what are the typical things dog owners will need to spend money on every year?
Here’s a quick list:
- Grooming Products/Services
- Vet Visits and Vaccinations
- Pet Insurance (optional but recommended)
Giving someone a dog for Christmas isn’t a one-and-done thing. Rather, think of it as an ongoing financial expense that your loved ones will have to commit to for at least 10-15 years! If you aren’t confident that they’ll be willing to – or able to – do this, then it’s probably best to reconsider giving them a dog as a gift.
4. Kids and Dogs Don’t Always Mix
Many people think that giving a child a puppy as a surprise Christmas gift is an amazing idea. Sure, it looks great on paper. After all, think of all the snuggles and adorable, picture-worthy moments they can share on Instagram!
But in reality, owning a dog can quickly become overwhelming and stressful for the child (and their parents!) because of all the responsibility involved. Not to mention, what if the dog isn’t properly socialized or used to being around kids? Then they won’t know the “correct” way to behave around the little ones. Meaning, the dog could potentially bite the child or play with them too aggressively.
Furthermore, the parent(s) NEED to be prepared and willing to shoulder the majority of the responsibility of pet ownership. This applies whether you’re the parent in question, or you’re thinking of gifting a dog to someone you know who’s a parent.
Because even if the dog is being given to a child, it’s still the parent who will need to pay the expenses. It’s still the parent who needs to pay to:
- Feed them;
- Get them groomed;
- Train them;
- And take them for regular vet visits.
So, before gifting a dog this holiday season, ask yourself: are the parents prepared to care for it properly? After all, if not, then you’re risking adding more stress than joy to the family’s holiday season. And, of course, this should be avoided at all costs.
5. Dogs Need Proper Housing
Dogs need proper housing with the right combination of space and warmth. Furthermore, the type of house you give them should be tailored to their size and breed. For instance, bigger breeds need larger housing.
Additionally, dogs shouldn’t be given as gifts for Christmas if the recipient doesn’t have a backyard. Because if they don’t, then they’ll need to walk the pup multiple times a day. Or even worse – leave them cooped up in an apartment all-day long!
And this is certainly no way to treat man’s best friend. Instead, it would be better to wait until the recipient has the financial means and enough outdoor space for their dog to enjoy.
Ultimately, if your friend or family member isn’t in a situation to properly house the dog (at least temporarily), then it’s probably best to get them something else or wait until they are ready. After all, dogs deserve to be given proper care and attention. Again, they’re not just some accessory to be given away on a whim!
So, if you’re thinking of gifting a dog for Christmas, think about the type of home it’ll be living in – both inside and out. If necessary, also consider buying them something like an outdoor kennel or crate to give their furry friend some extra space to play. And make sure that whatever housing you provide is big enough and warm enough for the pup.
6. You May Be Unintentionally Supporting Puppy Mills
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, you’ll find that most animal shelters put a temporary stop to adoptions. This is typically because they want to keep the animals safe during the holidays and avoid them being given away as “gifts” without any thought or planning.
But this doesn’t help you, does it? So, where do you turn?
Well, you’ll probably start to look online for other options… And would you look at that! Suddenly, all sorts of stores, pet shops, and online sites are advertising puppies for sale!
And while it all looks super cute, there’s a serious dark side to this practice: puppy mills.
Puppy mills are commercial breeding facilities that often keep dogs inhumanely confined, with little-to-no access to veterinary care and proper nutrition. As such, the puppies are often sick and have severe health problems.
Sadly, many pet stores get their stock from these mills. Meaning, your seemingly innocent purchase could be inadvertently supporting this abhorrent practice. As such, if you’re thinking of getting a dog for Christmas, make sure to find out where the pup is coming from.
7. The Holidays Can Be a Stressful Time for Dogs
Finally, another key reason why dogs shouldn’t be given as gifts for Christmas is because the holidays can be a huge source of stress for most canines.
This makes perfect sense, considering that the holidays often comes with:
- The hustle and bustle of visitors;
- Loud noises and/or fireworks;
- The general chaos that seems to come with each Christmas, etc.
As you can imagine, many dogs don’t usually fare too well in such situations. Therefore, if you’re set on getting a pup as a gift, make sure that the recipient is prepared and willing to handle all this extra chaos.
And if you’re thinking of gifting an adopted dog for Christmas, then it’s probably best to wait until after all the hoopla has died down and things can get back to “normal”. That way, the new pup won’t have to endure any unnecessary stress in their first few weeks at home.
Why Not to Give a Dog for Christmas: Final Thoughts
As we can see, getting a dog for Christmas isn’t always the best idea – especially if the recipient is ill-prepared or not in a situation where they can give the pup proper care. But if you’re still determined to get a pup as a gift, make sure to do your research and find out where the pup is coming from.
At the end of the day, dogs aren’t just some toy or accessory – they’re living, breathing creatures with unique needs and qualities. As such, they should always be treated with the utmost respect and care.
Thanks for reading – and Happy Holidays!