Dogs Trust

A dog is for life, not just for Christmas®

Although some people don’t celebrate Christmas or may not have many or any visitors, for many families it may not be the best time to take on a new dog, especially a puppy. Puppies crave lots attention and comfort, and you may just not have the time to provide this at a busy time like Christmas.

Christmas is also a time when there tends to be lots of forbidden foods and decorations within reach!

As cute as they are, puppies are rascals and can be extremely hard work for an owner, particularly if there are young children in the house – do you have enough time to spend with your pup?

Puppies don’t come trained; this takes a lot of work on your part. They can potentially cause a lot of damage to your possessions through chewing and accidents.

Owning a dog is a long-term commitment. The average dog lives for 12 years. Dogs aren’t cheap to care for. While it’s hard to put an exact cost on dog ownership as it’s so dependent on the dog’s size you will need to factor in the cost of pet insurance, then vet visits for vaccinations, toys, bedding, leads, harnesses, dog food and dog treats etc.

Why Christmas is not a good time for a busy household:

  • Attention – A puppy, especially one who has recently left the comfort of his littermates and Mum will crave attention and comfort and you may just not have the time to provide this at a busy time like Christmas.
  • Guests - Christmas is often the busiest time of year in homes with lots of guests and excitement: this can be over whelming for any puppy! If puppies are overwhelmed and frightened by visitors, this can easily lead to behaviour problems in the future.
  • Housetraining – Housetraining a puppy takes a few weeks, lots of patience, routine and consistency with the whole family, and most importantly you need to be there to recognise when your puppy needs to ‘go’. With the festivities, this can be difficult to do as your concentration can be on preparing meals and wrapping presents etc.
  • Trees & Decorations - Christmas can be a wonderful time of the year for most of us but with lots of forbidden foods and decorations within reach, it can be a very busy time for veterinary practices around the country! Chocolate, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and alcohol are toxic to dogs and rich fatty foods can cause serious damage. You’d need eyes on the back of your head with a puppy around all of these harmful temptations!
  • Gifts – There are usually lots of new, expensive gifts lying around at Christmas and puppies like and need to chew; they cannot differentiate between cheap and expensive items.
  • Timing – Gifts at Christmas are an indulgence for our loved ones – puppies are a 12-year commitment and simply not a material item to be gifted as a surprise. Puppies need stability, routine, and a calm environment to settle into, and as wonderful as Christmas is, this is not the time of the year to make such a commitment.

If you’ve carefully considered all of the above and you know you’re ready to make that long-term commitment, we strongly encourage you to get in contact with us here and let us know you’re interested in adopting. If you’re not in a position to adopt, please see here for our advice on getting a dog responsibly.