Should You Give a Puppy as a Christmas Gift?

Giving a puppy or a kitten for Christmas sounds like so much fun! What a memorable and exciting way to celebrate the holiday with the people you love. While visions of cuddly cuteness dance in your head, the truth is that you might be in for more surprises than just what comes out the box. A successful pet gift requires plenty of thought, planning and discernment.

Many animal welfare experts agree that giving a pet for Christmas is not out of the question, but it must be handled with careful consideration of what’s best for the pet and the family. The element of surprise, which can be the most enjoyable part, is also the least advisable. If the recipient is anyone other than your own children, their consent and commitment in taking on the responsibilities of a pet are crucial. Often, adopting a dog or a cat is a 10 to 15 year commitment. Add the expense and the time necessary to train and care for a dog, and you will realize that a wriggly ball of fur does come with strings attached.

However, if a family has already made the decision to get a pet and both parents are on board, surprising the kids on Christmas morning can be a most memorable event. Just remember that the needs of the puppy should take priority over the normal chaos of the day. And any food dangers and choking hazards that come from other gifts and festivities will need to be kept out of reach.

There are other fun ways to give a puppy or kitten for Christmas even if it’s not on Christmas. A puppy starter kit that includes a soft bed, toys and treats, a first aid kit, and a stuffed animal dog or cat (and future chew toy!) can be wrapped or strategically placed under the tree. A lovely addition would be a gift voucher to Houston SPCA or Plano Animal Services Department and a promise to go pick out just the right pet one day soon.

Whatever you decide in your gift giving this season, we wish all of our favorite and future pet parents a joyful holiday season! Whether you need expert training for that new puppy, doggie daycare to keep your pups busy and socialized, or overnight boarding, all of us here at Man’s Best Friend look forward to providing all of your furry family members with the best of care in the new year.