Puppies as Christmas Presents

Printed with permission of Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota, Inc. (RAGOM)

Are you thinking of giving a puppy as a Christmas present? If so, please reconsider. Puppies (or any dog, for that matter) do not make good Christmas presents for several reasons:

  • Adopting a dog is a decision that should be given a lot of thought, not a spur-of-the-moment decision.
  • A young puppy will need constant attention and supervision. They will need to be fed and taken out every few hours, and housetraining can be a very time-consuming process. People are very busy during the holidays, and often don’t have the time to meet a puppy’s around-the-clock demands.
  • Christmas is a very hectic time of year and not a good time to introduce a new dog to your household. It can be very stressful at times for us, and pets can often sense this stress. A new pet will already be in enough stress as it is learning to become accustomed to you and your home, and it’s not fair to the dog to bring them home under such stressful circumstances.
  • When you adopt a new dog, it will take a great deal of time to learn all about the dog’s personality: what it will and won’t get into, what things can stay out and what needs to be put away, how long the dog can stay comfortably and safely on its own. During Christmas, there are a lot of things that can pose a danger to your new pet—such as Christmas cookies and holiday dinners, and Christmas trees and presents, with their lights, shiny decorations, ribbons and small ornaments—and when you are very busy it can be difficult to watch the puppy as closely as you need to. The last thing you want to be adding to your Christmas agenda is caring for a sick puppy and the big bills and heartache that may come along with it.
  • Many kids are really excited at the thought of a new puppy, but after the novelty wears off they may not be so interested in helping care for and clean up after the new pup. Puppies are forever, not a toy that can be played with on Christmas Day and cast aside when the holiday is over.
  • Everyone in the family should be a part of the decision to adopt and in choosing a pet that matches your lifestyle and is compatible.

If you are still adamant on adopting a dog during the holiday season, RAGOM requires that all family members be a part of the decision-making and be present for the home visit. Because of this, we do not allow puppies as “surprise” presents, and will only consider adopting out a dog as a Christmas present if the gift recipient knows of your plan and is a part of the decision-making and involved in the adoption process.