Should You Gift a Dog for Christmas?

Thinking of a fluffy puppy on Christmas morning wrapped in a bow is sure to bring anyone joy, but is it really the best idea for a gift? Puppies should be viewed as a 15+ year investment of time, patience, money, and love. Many people who are gifted dogs may not be able to make that type of commitment.

Thinking about gifting a dog for Christmas? These tips below will help you determine if it’s the best idea.

1. Has the potential recipient mentioned interest in getting a puppy on their own?

The gift of a puppy should only be considered when the potential recipient mentions interest on their own. Seeing a cute puppy and wanting to gift it to a loved one doesn’t mean they are on the same page as you. However, if your loved one has been talking about getting a dog for months and have done their own research, your gift is guaranteed to steal the show.

2. Is the recipient financially prepared to properly care for the animal?

Did you know that pet owners, on average, spend right around $30,000 throughout the lifetime of their pet? This doesn’t even include pet insurance, major accidents, or illnesses. Seeing that number sure makes you think twice! It is true that one of the largest expenses is the initial adoption or purchase of the puppy, but don’t forget about the vaccinations, food, toys, treats, training, and grooming- don’t worry, having a new best friend will be totally worth it!

Looking to save for a furry friend? Try cutting out those fancy morning coffees and thinking twice before buying that new outfit—little changes add up. Before you know it, you’ll be making great strides toward saving for a pup. Despite the dollar signs, the bond between a pet and its owner truly is priceless!

3. Are they ready to shake up their daily routine?

A new pup requires a good amount of time- especially in the first couple of months- for training, exercise, and of course...lots of love!

A good rule of thumb is that puppies can hold their bladders for one hour for every month they are old (i.e., a 3 month old puppy can hold their bladder for about 3 hours). Will the puppy be welcomed at work? Does the potential owner have a good support system to help with walking and potty breaks if they cannot make it home in time?

Is your potential recipient a travel-lover? Most airlines now allow pets to travel with their owners, but it definitely takes a bit more planning. Not able to bring Fido along? Boarding animals averages $25- $40 a night, which can add up!

Luckily, many offices, restaurants, and community spaces are now pet friendly, making caring for a new pup easier than ever before. Nothing brings joy to an office setting like a new little pup!

4. Are there other ways you could contribute to the well-being of the animal for a Christmas gift instead of gifting the actual animal?

Maybe the puppy doesn’t need to be the Christmas present. Leave purchasing the pet to them, and gift your loved ones presents that go toward the puppy’s overall well-being is a wonderful way to help relieve financial stress, and show your support of their new furry friend! How about a year of pet insurance? Or six months of free dog food? Supporting your loved one in their puppy endeavors is an awesome compromise!