Rocky’s Viewpoint

Rockys Viewpoint

A blog for people who treat their dogs better than family

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Bringing Home a Puppy for Christmas

With the holidays here, many people think of bringing that cute puppy home as a Christmas gift. The kids think they want a puppy, so what better gift can you give them than a puppy for Christmas? Before you do this, stop and think, and continue reading!

Puppies take a lot of work, and for most people, the holidays are crazy enough without the added stress of caring for a puppy. The additional stress can also be traumatic and scary for the pup, and he deserves to be brought into a new home that’s less chaotic.

Bringing a dog into your life (be it a puppy or an older dog) should be a decision that’s thought out and researched. Ask yourself what kind of dog is best for your family and your lifestyle.

puppy-for-christmas

Cute puppies often become Christmas gifts for children

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself before deciding if a puppy is right for you, and if so, what type of dog you should consider.

1. Have you ever had a dog?

If you’ve never lived with a dog, you may not understand the physical, mental and emotional needs of dogs. This doesn’t mean you can’t learn you just have to be willing to put in the work.

2. Do you live in an apartment or a house?

If you live in a pet-friendly apartment, check the guidelines for the type of dog you can have. Check size and breed restrictions. If you live upstairs, realize you’ll have to take the puppy out to potty many times a day.

If you rent a house, make sure your landlord is OK with the pet you choose. If you own, make sure your insurance company approves of the breed you choose. Ideally you need a fenced back yard to make it easier to take care of the pup’s potty and exercise needs.

3. Are you getting a dog just for the kids?

Many breeds aren’t good with small children. Young children can often be rough with dogs and that can wind up in a dog bite. Plus, children often grow tired of a dog, especially as the dog ages.

4. Do you want a small or a large dog?

This is partly a preference, but it’s also important to consider your living situation and ages of your children.

devoted woman hugging dog

5. Look at the breed you’re considering – is it a breed that’s typically high energy or a couch potato, nervous or laid back, headstrong or easy, etc.

Even though you may like the look of a particular breed, it may not be the best breed for you. Consider your experience with dogs and the trainability of the breed. If you’ve never had a dog before, it may not be wise to start with say, an Australian Shepherd pup!

6. Do you like to exercise or are you a couch potato?

This is important because your dog will need quality exercise throughout his lifetime. If you don’t like to exercise, consider a breed like a Greyhound or consider adopting an older dog. 

Choose a dog breed that best fits your lifestyle

Choose the dog breed that best fits your lifestyle.

7. Do you work long hours? Are you willing to get up at 3am to take the pup out for a potty break? For months?

If the adults in your household all work long hours, getting a dog may not be right for you, especially a puppy. If you’re determined to have a puppy, you’ll need to make plans for your dog during the day, especially with a puppy.

A pup can’t hold his bladder for more than 2 hours, so you’ll need someone like a neighbor or dog walker to look in on him regularly and take him for a walk.

8. Are you a neat or clean freak? Can you handle the shedding and other mess a dog makes?

If your house is full of white furniture, your floors are immaculate, and you like it that way, a dog may not be right for you.

9. Can you afford and are you willing to commit to the expense of caring for a dog for his entire lifetime?

Just like children, dogs are expensive, and they are a lifetime commitment. They are not disposable when it becomes inconvenient to have a dog.

photo of older dog

 
10. Are you willing to put in the time and energy to properly train a dog?

Pups and often older dogs don’t come trained! That’s something you have to do. It takes consistent work and you must honestly ask yourself if that’s something you’re willing to do.

 All of these questions and more need to be considered.

Just like the decision to have children, bringing a dog into your life should be thought out in the same careful manner.

It’s a sad fact that many Christmas puppies wind up in shelters, sometimes within months. Just because of a decision to “get the kids a puppy” for Christmas.

Puppies are not toys and shouldn’t be viewed as such. Once a cute Christmas puppy grows into an adolescent, people often can’t handle them, and give them up.

Here’s an idea – instead of giving a puppy for Christmas, give the “promise of a puppy.”

This can be great fun and will allow your children to participate in the process, giving them opportunities to learn by helping to make decisions. Allow them to help you research breeds suitable for your family. It’s exciting and gives them something to look forward to!

Then look at rescue groups or responsible breeders (never a puppy store) and plan on the right time to bring your new dog into your life. That way, you set up the best possible scenario for success and a long term companion in your new puppy!

Category: Puppies