A Doggie For Christmas?

xmas dog

I’m all for giving a dog a loving home.  I think sharing your life with a dog is the one of the best decisions you can ever make!  Your life is richer for having a dog in it.  Unfortunately, some people make the decision to bring home a dog on a whim, completely unprepared…especially this time of year!   Giving a dog or puppy as a surprise Christmas gift may seem like a good idea especially if a child wants a cute doggie.  But please remember that dogs are living animals and require a lot of responsibility.  Please consider these points before deciding to give a dog as a Christmas gift:

Would You Want The Dog If It Wasn’t Christmas Time?

Ask yourself if you would still be bringing home a dog if you weren’t doing it as a Christmas gift.  If you’ve been wanting a dog for awhile, done your research on breeds, are prepared for the responsibility after the holiday novelty wears off…then fine.  If you just think a dog would make a really cute Christmas gift for little Timmy…STOP!  A dog is not a toy that a child can play with a few times then discard once they lose interest. Dogs are living beings who need love, attention, training, and proper care for their entire life.   Many “Christmas gift” dogs end up in shelters because the novelty wore off, or the time to care for them became too much.  Shelter dogs are living on borrowed time and many wind up being euthanized.  A dog doesn’t deserve that because your family grew tired of him by February.  Owning a dog is at least a 10 – 15 year commitment. Give an iPad instead. Think before you gift!

If You Are Ready for a Dog, Wait Until After Christmas

If you’ve seriously weighed the pros and cons of owning a dog and have decided you are truly ready for the responsibility, please bring the dog home either well before Christmas or wait until after Christmas.  The holidays can be a crazy and busy time.  Bringing a dog into a new environment with lots of chaos and new people is not the best idea and can lead to one stressed little doggie.  Help your dog make a smooth and comfortable transition by bringing him into a calm environment.  Let him adjust to his surroundings without the added crazy holiday happenings.  Imagine if you were taken from a familiar environment, dropped in a completely new home with a bunch of new people coming and going.  Would you be comfortable or completely stressed out?  Stressed dogs tend to get into more trouble.

Does Everyone in Your Family & the Dog Get Along

Before choosing to bring a dog into a home, every member of the family (including any other pets) should interact with the dog first.  Not all personalities mesh, and not every dog is right for your family.  Giving a dog as a surprise Christmas gift could easily backfire.  The dog and other family members may not care for each other.  You don’t want to wind up with a child who hates the kind of dog you brought home, or a dog who doesn’t like your child or other dog in the home.  The family dynamics should be tested out prior to bringing a dog into your home.

Please Adopt, Don’t Shop

If you’re ready to bring a dog home (before or after the holidays…follow above advice), please adopt!  There are so many dogs in shelters and rescue groups across the country that need and would love a good home!  I adopted Suki from a rescue group, and she is the sweetest, most loving dog!  Adopted dogs seem to know they’ve been given another chance and are super grateful.   Adopting doesn’t just save 1 life but 2.  You save the dog you’ve adopted, and you’ve opened a spot for another dog to be adopted.  Plus adopting doesn’t contribute to puppy mills.  As long as people are willing to pay for a puppy in a pet store or from a backyard breeder, puppy mills will continue to exist.  Do some internet research on puppy mills…you will be appalled!

Do You Want a Dog or Just A Cute Puppy

I agree puppies are adorable cuddly balls of fur.  Who can resist a puppy? When they have an accident, it’s small and that cute face makes cleaning up feel not so bad.   But just remember…puppies grow up into adult dogs!  They lose that cute puppy face and small puppy size. Adult dogs can still have accidents, and when they do it’s a bigger puddle!  Do not adopt a puppy if you’re not prepared for an adult dog down the road. Puppies grow up!

Please be responsible and make sure you are ready for the long-term commitment of being a dog mommy or daddy before you bring home the new family addition.


Posted on November 19, 2012, in Paw Worthy News and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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