A Dog Really Isn’t Just for Christmas!

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We’ve all seen the traditional trope of someone’s face glowing with joy as they open a box tied with a loose red ribbon and bow to find that they have been gifted a puppy. Who wouldn’t express happiness and surprise at being greeted by the loving face of a tiny dog, full of love and excitement? Sure, there are instances where people have received a pet and have gone on to love their canine companion wholeheartedly, providing him or her with a good quality of life. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that a dog will always make a good present. Here’s a little more information on the subject that may make you want to reconsider your plan and purchase an object or experience to wrap up for your nearest and dearest this year instead!

Financial Responsibility

Dogs are generally expensive to purchase in the first place, especially if you are planning on purchasing a pedigree breed. So, you may think that you are being relatively generous in purchasing such a costly gift for someone. But you need to bear in mind that dogs can prove extremely expensive to keep beyond their initial asking price. This places a huge financial responsibility on the recipient without asking their permission or giving them a chance to have a say in the matter. Remember that they are going to have to inevitably pay for more than just dog food to sustain their pup. They are going to have to invest in:

  • Pet insurance
  • Veterinary bills
  • Worming and flea treatments
  • Grooming
  • Bedding
  • Collars, harnesses, and leads
  • Toys
  • Treats


Dogs also tend to require a whole lot more time, care, and attention than people initially think. By gifting someone a dog, you automatically put a large responsibility on them and dedicate their time to a pet on their behalf without first asking them. This can prove problematic if they have more responsibilities than you are aware of. They may be waiting for a promotion at work, planning on increasing the amount of time that they dedicate to their family, spending more time on social plans… throwing a puppy into the mix can really scupper their plans. Christmas also tends to be an extremely hectic time of year – the recipient might not have sufficient time to train their puppy effectively or dedicate sufficient time to house training.

Limiting Spontaneous Behaviour

Sure, it may all seem fun and games incorporating a pet into Christmas as a life changing gift for whoever you may have in mind as a recipient. But you need to remember that from this point onwards, you will have to incorporate your pooch into every holiday, occasion, and vacation that you will take in the future for the duration of the animal’s life. In fact, you are going to have to incorporate them into pretty much everything that you want to do in the future. If the person who you’re gifting a pup to wants to engage in any form of spontaneous behaviour, they aren’t going to be able to anymore. If they want to head away to an event that is longer than a working day, requires an overnight stay, or will see them away from home for an extended period of time, they’re going to have to take various steps to ensure that their pet can come away with them or is well looked after while they are away. They will have to research airports that are pet friendly, only stay in accommodation that their pets can join them in, and dine out in restaurants that are dog friendly or they will have to limit their trips and fork out for kennels or boarding costs where their four legged friend can stay at home under professional supervision.

Dogs Can’t Just Be Returned

If you gift someone a dog, you need to remember that they cannot simply be returned and placed back on the shelf if the person doesn’t actually want the dog. They will need to be handed over to a shelter or a foster carer who can look after them until someone else is willing to take on responsibility for them. If shelters are full or there aren’t any willing adoptive owners available, this poor pooch could actually end up being euthanised. This is entirely unfair – an animal’s life shouldn’t be risked due to a poor decision on a person’s part.

As you can see, a dog really isn’t just a gift for Christmas. It isn’t an object that can be handed over, politely accepted, and tucked away if the recipient feels a little awkward or doesn’t want to keep it. They are living, breathing, sentient beings who require a whole lot of commitment, dedication, love, and attention to flourish. So, think twice before going ahead with plans of giving a puppy as a present.

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