Should you buy a puppy as a Christmas gift?

Should you buy a puppy as a Christmas gift?Is it ok to buy a puppy as a Christmas present?

In the run-up to Christmas, you might start to consider the idea of buying a puppy as a present. After all, at first glance, it might seem like a great idea. 

However, there’s a reason why the slogan ‘dogs are for life, not just for Christmas’ was created. You should never get a puppy as a Christmas gift (or really any other animal).

Why shouldn’t I buy a puppy as a Christmas gift?

Even if the recipient has already expressed an interest in buying a puppy, it’s never a good idea to gift one. We explore the different reasons why giving a puppy as a gift can be a huge mistake. 

1. Owning a dog is a big commitment

Offering to take a dog home, whether it’s buying a puppy from a licensed breeder or rehoming from pet adoption organisations, is a big commitment. 

There’s much more to think about than whether or not the dog is cute.

There are a number of different factors to consider when buying a puppy, for example:
  • Allergies can have a huge impact on breed choice.
  • Your activity level should match the dog breed’s activity levels too.
  • Many breeds have specific needs which need to be met e.g. dog breeds like Chihuahuas or Labrador Retrievers are more likely to be very clingy and be happiest when the owners can spend a lot of time with them.
  • If your home size suits the size of the dog breed and many more.

So to take the decision out of someone's hands means there’s a lot more potential that the match between dog and owner won’t be a positive one. 

What you need to know before owning a dog

2. You might be unaware of situations preventing them from owning a dog right now

Even if someone is repeatedly claiming they want a dog, the time might not be right for them. It could be anything from being not allowed to have pets in their rental home to not being able to afford to own a dog right now. 

Even if they’ve done plenty of research and know the perfect breed, if the timing is off it can lead to disappointment for both parties.

3. Puppy selection is personal

There’s more than just breed to consider when picking the perfect pet. For example, they have a distinct preference for the sex of the puppy. Check out our blog about if male or female puppies are right for you.

Aside from sex, each puppy will have their own little character. Even between the same litter, you’ll see each puppy has a unique personality. 

It’s important that the potential puppy parent meets with prospective dogs to find the right match. And even if you know your recipient exceptionally well, it’s something that only the prospective owner can do.

4. Wanting a dog and owning a dog are very different things

Another thing to consider is that even the most passionate dog lovers might not be ready for the responsibility of owning a dog. 

It’s a big responsibility that will significantly impact the potential recipient’s life. Owning a dog is a huge commitment for people both in terms of ongoing costs and the time needed.

5. They aren't 'things' you can return but living animals

A puppy is a living, breathing creature that cannot be returned if it’s not to their liking. It isn’t fair to offer a puppy the chance for a forever home if there is any chance at all they might not be wanted. 

Rehoming pet shelters are already full to the brim with pets that people were unable or unwilling to care for. Puppies shouldn’t be thought of as presents but instead as living animals. It’s something that potential puppy buyers should consider for themselves.

What to know when choosing a puppy
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