According to the media, nothing is cuter than a pair of puppy eyes looking up at you from a basket or under a box lid on Christmas morning. The joy of giving or getting a puppy for Christmas is often shown as a hallmark of the holiday season.
But that initial excitement will begin to wear off, leaving that sweet little thing in the capable (or not so capable) hands of whoever the lucky recipient is this year.
Despite what you may have seen on tv, Christmas is one of the worst times of year to get a puppy. A lot of those unsuspecting animals will end up in shelters or getting rehomed shortly after the new year. But if that’s not convincing enough, here are 5 reasons why getting a puppy for Christmas is a bad idea.
1. It’s a Hectic Time of the Year
The holiday season is a time of rush, rush, rush.
There are presents to buy, family members to see, parties to attend, boxes to wrap, food to make, and children to appease. If you think a puppy is an ultimate way to ring in the season, think again.
Puppies need consistency to adjust to a new home.
Christmas’s constant noise and excitement can needlessly stress out a new puppy. They need at least 14 hours of sleep every day, which is difficult to get when there are a lot of people talking, moving around, and passing you back and forth.
The chaos can also lead to mishaps if the puppy is forgotten among the rest of the festivities. Even if you mean well, it’s easy for a small animal to get lost under wrapping paper, scurry under the tree, or even escape outside with everything going on.
Without eyes constantly on them, puppies are prone to eat things such as ribbons, hooks, tree needles, or tape.
Aside from the obvious dangers, there’s also a lot of food around at this time of year that could be harmful or downright toxic for a puppy. Chocolate is one of the biggest culprits, but anything with raisins or liquor in it that’s left within a puppy’s reach can quickly turn Christmas day from sweet to sour.
Although it is a joyful time, Christmas can cause a young puppy a lot of confusion, fear, and stress that would be avoided by waiting until after the new year when the holiday fun is done. That way, you can settle them into your home and keep a close eye on them in the process.
2. It’s Cooler Outside
Another thing puppies need is constant bathroom breaks.
It’s important to take your puppy outside a lot because their bladders are small. However, doing so during the winter isn’t good for them. Puppies can’t handle cold temperatures well at such a young age, and it could be shocking for them to have too much exposure to it.
Depending on where you live, getting a new puppy is a much better idea when it’s warmer or when you have more attention to give to potty breaks.
Plus, it’s easy to forget to take your puppy to the bathroom in all the excitement, which can lead to more accidents. If they are scolded, the puppy could fail to bond properly with its new family. It’s not a great way to start the journey with a new pet.
3. Puppies Are Not Novelties
Many people get puppies as gifts with the same energy as buying a kid a brand-new bike – because it’s cool and exciting on Christmas morning.
Thinking of a puppy as just another Christmas gift completely ignores how much of a responsibility a pet is. If you’re only worried about the reaction when your child sees the puppy under the tree, they’re better off getting a new game console that can be set to the side without any harm.
Once Christmas is over, puppies are still a huge responsibility.
You have to consider a lot of factors before getting someone a puppy. Are they old enough to take on the responsibility? Are they too busy to take care of a small puppy? Can they afford to take care of a puppy?
When they open that present, the look on someone’s face will be priceless. But when you’re dealing with a living, breathing thing, it’s important to think about the big picture.
4. The Recipient May Not Want the Puppy
Surprising someone with a puppy is another ballgame entirely.
There’s absolutely no good reason you should be surprising anyone outside your immediate family with a puppy. There’s a chance they will love it, yes. But there is equally as big a chance that you’re going to end up going home with a new puppy.
Before you get anyone a puppy, you have to make sure they actually want one and are equipped to take care of it.
It sounds a little crazy to think of someone not wanting a puppy, but not everyone has the time, money, or willingness to care for something that’s such a big responsibility. So if you’re thinking about making a puppy into a surprise, it’s better not to.
5. There Is a Better Way to Gift a Puppy
It’s totally understandable to want to give someone the joy of a puppy for Christmas. But there are much better ways to go about it than putting it on the front porch in a basket or sliding it under the tree in a box full of holes.
Instead, consider gifting the promise of a puppy.
Wrap up a collar, leash, some puppy toys, a bed, or a crate, and put that under the tree. Turn adopting the perfect puppy into a family experience when the holidays are over. You have a much better chance of getting a pet everyone loves and bonds with if they have a say in the decision.
Once we get a few weeks deep into the new year, many of the pets given as gifts will be relinquished to shelters. That means you’ll have your pick of the litter if you wait just a little longer to give that special someone the gift of a new puppy.
Welcoming a New Puppy Doesn’t Need an Occasion
Bringing in a new member of the family is an occasion all its own! Getting a new puppy any day of the year will be just as exciting as getting one for Christmas… without all the craziness. If you find the perfect addition to your family, they can enjoy the holidays with you already comfy and cozy in your home.
And if you ever need someone to walk, look after, or clean up after your new bundle of joy, Space Coast Pet Services always has your back!
Happy holiday gifting!
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born in 2016! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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