Getting a puppy for Christmas?
Updated: Aug 18
A puppy for Christmas is a families dream! it’s usually when you’ve got some time off together so it makes sense to settle your bundle of joy in then.
As a canine care professional people expect me to be dead against it but I truly believe if you’ve thought about this decision very carefully and answered some very tough questions then it doesn’t matter when you get your pup.
I want to challenge your thoughts even further because it’s not a straight forward decision and there maybe something that may change your mind when it comes to the facts.
so here goes…
If you ask most people in a dog rescue centre they will shudder at the thought of someone getting a puppy or even worse, gifting a puppy for Christmas.
and here’s why!
More than 47,500 dogs were abandoned by their owners in the UK last year, figures from the Dogs Trust suggest. The animals all ended up in council pounds and more than 5,000 were later put down, according to the charity's annual survey of 345 local authorities.
With the increase of shelter dogs coming in from abroad also, our UK shelter dogs are having even more of a tough time getting noticed.
Now this article isn’t about discouragement or shaming, we are a nation of dog lovers that want the best for our families as well.
I wanted to get the facts and figure to you so you can make a better, more informed decision because I hear myths and untruths about shelter dogs spoken a lot.
Like, it’ll be easier training a puppy, you know what you’ll get with a puppy, what if a shelter dog is aggressive, it’ll be safer for the children to get a puppy.
Now here’s the thing…
Every dog on the planet has it’s own personality, wether they’re a shelter dog or a puppy, both can become aggressive given the nature of their character and the experiences they have.
You are MORE likely to know what you are getting with a shelter dog as the staff can help you decide which is the best dog suited to your life style and family and an older dog is more settled into life giving you a clearer idea of it’s nature.
If a dog in a rescue centre is aggressive 9/10 times it is because the poor old soul isn’t coping very well in it’s new surroundings, unfortunately many of these dogs are put to sleep when most of them just need a calm loving home.
Rescue centres are inundated with unwanted dogs and puppies after Christmas because things have gone wrong. 100% of these issues are down to human error and a misunderstanding of canine communication, induced stress due to the change in routine, over excited children and a lack of decent rest due to all the commotion going on. Dogs need 14-16 hours of undisturbed rest a day, dogs can get grumpy and over tired too you know.
Any dog old or new can be trained, you CAN teach an older dog new tricks as well.
A puppy will take longer to settle in so you best have a plan or someone to care for your pup if you all have to return to work and school after Christmas. They will need to be taken out at least every four hours so have a plan in place for someone to support and keep your pup entertained whilst you’re away. You should not leave a puppy alone all day as this could cause behavioural issues and or lead to separation anxiety.
But what about after Christmas then?
Can you support a dog for up to15 years of it’s life?
Can you take them to training classes?
Do you rent and have a back up plan if you end up having to move?
Are you financially equipped to deal with behavioural changes which need a dog trainer or if they sustain serious injuries needing operations?
Do you have the time, knowledge and enthusiasm to train, walk and play with your dog?
If you are gifting a dog have you talked to them about it and can they or do they want to take a dog on?
Have you thought about if the breed you want is suitable for your life style? will they fit in with what you expect of a dog?
Can you give them the right amount of training/exercise/grooming/space/attention they require specific to that breed?
What will happen if you’re at work all day? can you afford a dog walker or doggy day care?What happens if my circumstances change?
What happens if my dog is high energy and needs a lot of attention?
Can I afford a good quality diet for my dog?
Getting a puppy is an amazing experience and I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from experiencing it at least once. But I’ll have to warn you, every time someone asks you if your dog is a rescue, a little bit of your soul dies!
I’ve loved my rescue dogs just as much as Elsa who I bought as a puppy. It’ll make no difference in the long run so think wisely and enjoy the experience, which ever decision you make.
For more information about getting a dog or a puppy:-