Thinking of giving your kids a puppy for Christmas? Heck yeah!
Who doesn’t love puppies, especially kids!
But, whoa, slow down there Speed Racer, at least read this article first. Don’t worry, we won’t try to talk you out of it, we just want to make sure you know what you’re getting into.
When it comes to giving a puppy for Christmas, there is a divide on whether or not it’s a good idea. Here at GoodDoggies.Online, we believe that it’s perfectly fine to give kids (or anyone) a puppy for Christmas, so long as certain boundaries are set beforehand.
Puppies (and dogs) are great. They are loving pets who are wonderful additions to any home. But in any context, getting a dog requires serious commitment. The same is true to getting your kids a puppy for Christmas.
Why People Are Against Puppies As Holiday Gifts
There are a lot of people saying that no, you shouldn’t be giving anyone, particularly kids, a puppy as a Christmas gift. There are several reasons that people stand by this, and while we agree with these reasons, they’re not something that couldn’t be addressed with the proper amount of preparation.
1. Getting puppies as Christmas gifts is usually an impulsive decision
First and foremost, this is a generalization that sadly has a lot of grounding. But not all the time is this decision one that’s not well thought-out. This is why we’re making this article, to help prepare you for what giving a puppy as a gift entails.
2. Pets as surprises don’t work out well
When done impulsively, puppies (and other pets) as gifts don’t usually end up in homes that are prepared to have them in it. The gift-giver may overlook the responsibilities attached to pet-owning in favor for the surprise factor of giving a pet to their recipient.
This means that pets who are given as gifts may not get the proper care that they deserve, which isn’t ideal at all. So if you’re planning to get a puppy to gift someone this Christmas, be sure to do it with the important details in mind.
The last thing we want is an abandoned or returned puppy just because people lack the foresight to see that they “weren’t ready” for the puppy at home.
3. The issue of responsibility
We get where the people who say this are coming from, and for younger kids, it’s certainly a bit harder to distinguish holiday gifts from each other. The main argument that this point makes is that pets have different responsibilities attached to them as say, the new train set that your child got.
The only responsibility attached to toys is that they should be put away properly when not in use, which doesn’t apply to dogs. Puppies need to be fed, exercised, and have a whole lot of care that doesn’t just last until the next gift-giving season, but for life.
4. The holidays are crazy enough
The holiday season is pretty hectic, there’s no doubt about that. And adding a new family member may not exactly be the best idea to execute then. Having a new furry bundle of joy running around your home when it’s in full-holiday mode isn’t exactly a recipe for success.
Holidays usually require families to be traveling and/or hosting celebrations in their homes. The last thing your family (and the puppy) needs is a new environment during the season. Plus, there’s a bunch of holiday foods that dogs shouldn’t get into.
The weather is another consideration. Puppies need to be house trained, and it can be a tricky task during the cold season. Your children will also be busy once school starts back up again to be that involved with the puppy’s training.
5. Problematic sources
Since it’s a common agreement that getting pets as holiday gifts is a bad idea, shelters and rescue organizations usually prevent any adoptions from taking place during the season. So most likely, people who opt to give puppies as Christmas gifts get them from problematic sources like puppy mills, pet stores, and disreputable breeders.
It’s not a good idea to get a puppy from any of these sources at any time of the year, but as they’re usually the only ones offering puppies during the holiday season, then you probably won’t be able to get them from anywhere else.
Giving Your Kids A Puppy for Christmas
Like we said, we totally recognize the reasons why people advise against getting a puppy as a Christmas gift. And if any of those reasons are already giving you second thoughts, then try to think about it more.
However, we also believe that it’s not entirely a bad idea to give your kids a puppy for Christmas, as long as you are doing it right. Here are several things that you could do to ensure that your kids would be well-prepared to receive a puppy for Christmas.
1. Determine if your home is ready
You’re the parent, so ultimately the decision is up to you. Also, you’re the one who knows the situation in your home best. Think about these questions and if everything is in the affirmative, then proceed to the next step:
- Are your children mature enough to be taught the idea of responsibility as applied to a pet?
- Are other family members open to the idea of a pet joining your home?
- Can you financially handle the responsibility of owning a dog? Remember, this is a lifelong commitment and not just one for the holidays.
- Is your home an ideal environment for a puppy to grow up in? This may become more specific depending on the breed of puppy you’re planning to get.
2. Prepare your children accordingly
If you’re a parent, chances are you didn’t get this idea out of nowhere. You’ve probably had to listen to your kids dropping hints about how they want a dog for the past few months, and now you’re wondering if you should actually give them one this Christmas.
Once you decide to get your kids a puppy for Christmas, the best course of action is probably not to do it as a surprise. Your children need to be mentally prepared for the idea of taking on some responsibility once the dog arrives, and this is best done if they’ve had the chance to stew in the idea beforehand.
This means that you might have to arrange a sit-down with your kids to ask them how much they want a dog and how much responsibility they are willing to take if you do get them a puppy. You will also have to give them details on what kinds of tasks are needed to be done once the puppy arrives.
This way, you can gauge exactly how prepared your kids are for a puppy. You will also be able to see how willing they are to take on the tasks associated with owning the puppy. Sure, you’ll do your part too, but it’s going to be their puppy, right?
3. Adopt, don’t shop
Once you’ve determined that everyone at home (not just your kids) is ready for a new addition to the family, then it’s time to choose the puppy you’re going to adopt. Again, don’t patronize puppy mills, pet shops, and backyard breeders. Instead, adopt a rescue or from a shelter.
4. Make the choice as a family
Pick your puppy well, and follow these guidelines to adopting a rescue puppy. This way, you’ll be better equipped for your latest family member. It’s best to do this with the whole family, to better determine how well the puppy will act around each member of the family.
This way, you’re also sure that you’re getting a puppy that your kids actually like. Getting one without their decision may not end well, especially if you get one that’s not exactly the one they were hoping for.
5. Consider the season
Like we mentioned, it’s not exactly the best time to adopt a puppy during the holidays. If you’re still set on getting a puppy for Christmas, consider postponing the actual adoption until after the hectic season.
What you can do instead is to increase the anticipation by buying the basic necessities for a new puppy and opening those under the tree instead. Your family will surely have lots of fun getting excited for your new puppy, and you’ll all be better prepared too.
After things have settled down, you can finally head over to the shelter/ rescue organization and fetch the puppy of your choice. Then, you will have ample time to dedicate to your new canine family member sans the holiday hassle.
And so we close our case on why getting your kids a puppy for Christmas isn’t exactly a bad idea. Surely they will be wonderful additions to any home who is ready to have them.
Stumped on what gift to get for a dog lover? Check out this gift guide for ideas!
Want access to hundreds of dog training videos from a pro? Check out Doggy Dan’s website.