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Nothing could be cuter than your kids waking up Christmas morning and finding an adorable puppy under the tree with a big red bow around his neck.  While this sounds like an ideal Christmas gift, Christmas is actually the worst time of the year to introduce a puppy to your home for several reasons. In this article, I will discuss why puppies are not good Christmas gifts. I will also give you some ideas of gifts that you can give instead of a puppy, that your family’s future puppy will enjoy.

Reasons Why Puppies Are Not Good Christmas Gifts

1. Christmas is a busy time of the year

For most families, Christmas is a very busy and exciting time of the year.  There are people coming and going constantly and just so many things to do.  The kids are over the top excited about Santa coming.  Everything is off it’s normal schedule.  Throw in a new puppy and you now have utter chaos!  Moving to a new home is a big change for a puppy and they need a calm environment to start off their life in a new home.  They are already under enough stress from the transition, they don’t need extra excitement and activity thrown into the mix.

       2.  Puppies need a routine.

For a puppy to be successful in his new home, he needs a routine.  He will need to go outside for potty breaks, have naps, and a feeding and exercise schedule.  When your schedule is already off it’s normal routine because of the excitement of a holiday, like Christmas, it is very hard to fit in a regular schedule for a puppy!  Puppies should not go to their new home when things are not on their regular schedule.  Puppies are a lot of work and need to be brought home when the family has the time to devote to their new family member.

     3.  Puppies are a lifetime commitment.

Puppies are a lifetime commitment.  You will have your puppy for the next 13+ years depending on the breed.  A puppy should not be a surprise, no matter how fun that sounds. Everyone in the family should be aware of and approve of adding a puppy to the family.  This puppy will be your new family member and everyone in the house should have some sort of responsibility towards the care of the puppy.  It’s a big decision, one that takes a great deal of decision, research and planning.

     4.  Puppies can quickly feel like a burden.

Once the excitement settles and the family realizes how much responsibility is involved, it may feel more like a chore to look after the puppy.  The holidays are so busy that most families would not welcome the extra work of looking after a new puppy.  Taking him outside for pee breaks suddenly becomes the parents’ responsibility because the kids are too busy playing with their new toys.  Or the kids get upset because the puppy steals their new toys and chew them up.  The puppy cries all night because he hasn’t been properly crate trained and keeps the family awake.  The list just keeps going.  Introducing the puppy when all of the Christmas excitement settles is a lot less stressful for everyone, including the puppy!

     5.  Where will you get a Christmas puppy?

Reputable breeders and rescues will not let people adopt puppies during the holidays.  No matter if you shop or adopt, you need to make sure that your puppy comes from a reputable place and that he has had the best care possible before he comes to live with you.  There are breeders and rescues who actually advertise that their puppies are available as Christmas presents.  These are the places to stay away from!  Any breeder or rescue that cares about their puppies, wants to make sure that each puppy is successful in their new home and this means going to the new home when the family can concentrate on caring for and training him.

If everyone in your family wants to get a puppy, there are some great gift ideas that you can give to prepare for a puppy.  Check out the list below as well as our article:  20 Ultimate Gift Ideas For The Dog Lover.

Gift Ideas Instead Of A Christmas Puppy

      1.  A book about caring for a puppy.

If you know that your family or friend is seriously interested in adding a puppy to the family, then a book about puppy care is a great gift for them.  Anyone adopting a puppy should be prepared and know what will be involved with caring for the puppy.

Amazon has some great options for books about caring for your dog. Click HERE to check out our book recommendation, How to Care for Your Dog: The Complete Guide from Puppy to Adult.

2.  A book about training a puppy.

Training a puppy, right from the very start, is very important.  You want them to learn basic commands and manners from the very beginning.  Giving someone a training book is a great way for them to learn how to train their puppy before they bring him home.

Click HERE for a great options for a book on training a puppy, The Puppy Training Handbook.

3.   Dog supplies.

Every new puppy owner will need puppy supplies.  Check out our New Puppy Checklist for some great ideas on what the new puppy will require. The supplies listed are things that every new dog family will require, regardless of the breed of dog.

Click HERE to check out this dog crate on Amazon.

4.  Dog toys.

Puppies need lots of toys to entertain themselves and to help them through the teething stage.  Buying a family or friend a dog toy, instead of a puppy, is a great idea so that their puppy has lots of toys when they do bring him home.

Click HERE to check out this awesome puppy toy on Amazon.

To check out other toy ideas for a puppy be sure to read our article:  20 Ultimate Gift Ideas That Your Dog Will Love.

          5.  A card saying that they can have a puppy.

If you have a child that has been begging for a puppy for Christmas, an alternative is to give them a card with a picture of a puppy and a note saying that once the holidays are over that you will begin your search for the perfect breeder or rescue together.  This way the whole family can be involved in deciding on the breed or the dog that is added to your family.

Click HERE to check out these adorable dog themed Christmas cards on Amazon.

Adding a puppy to your family is an exciting time and one that should be done at the right time.  Lots of research needs to be put into the decision to find the breed that suites your family and then to find the breeder or rescue that you can work with. And while puppies are not good Christmas gifts, there are dog related gifts that you can give instead that your family or friend’s future puppy can enjoy.

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