For some people getting a puppy for Christmas for you or a loved one, sounds like a great idea, and if you have kids how excited would they be to get up Christmas morning to find a cute little puppy sitting amongst the parcels with a bow tied around its neck.
When I was a kid, my parents bought home our first ever dog on Xmas eve, it was the best present ever for me and my brother a little Labrador puppy that we were going to have so much fun with. To be fair my parents hadn’t planned to get a dog on Xmas eve they had been to see the breeder before the litter was even conceived, the timing just turned out that way, and we had 13 great years with our dog, but that first Xmas was very eventful. We couldn’t have any of our toys out without him pinching them or trying to chew them, plus the countless times he pulled the Christmas tree over, its funny when we think back on it now, many years later, but if someone asked me is Christmas the best time to get a new puppy, I would have to say no.
From a puppy’s point of view
OK so think about things from the puppy’s point of view. This is a living creature with needs, and not forgetting it is only a baby, maybe 8 to 10 weeks of age, and up until that moment they have never been away from their mother or litter mates. So bringing it home into a house that is bustling with people and lots of unusual sounds and smells, and excitement and things that you wouldn’t want a small inquisitive little puppy getting into, will be a very overwhelming experience for them.
Is it still a good idea to have a new puppy at home on Christmas day?
If you really are thinking of bringing a new puppy home for Christmas day ask yourself these questions.
- Will you have time to care for your puppy while rushing around preparing dinner etc? Christmas can be a lot of extra work for you preparing the food, opening the presents, entertaining the kids if you have them, then clearing away at the end of it all, where does that little puppy who will most likely not even be house trained fit in with all of this?
- Will you be having friends or relatives around or maybe you are planning to go to their houses. If so what will you do with the puppy? It will be quite scary for a little puppy to be surrounded by even more new people, passing it around to each other smothering it in cuddles and kisses, and if you go out will you leave it all alone in an unfamiliar place or take it to yet another place it doesn’t know filled with more strange people and noises.
A new pup needs peace and quiet
Maybe you don’t have children, and you just spend a quiet day at home over Christmas, if so then bringing your pup home before Christmas would not be such a bad idea.
Your puppies first day in their new home should be a peaceful occasion to give them time to settle and get used to their surroundings and you. The first day you will need to introduce them to their new environment, where they should have their own space to go to feel safe and you should also be making a start with their house training routine.
But bringing a puppy into a house at Christmas is going to be nothing like introducing them at a different time of the year, for starters the house will look different, there won’t be a Christmas tree or lights and decorations, presents and potentially sweets and foods that may be dangerous if your pup eats any of them. If you have children, although they may leave toys lying around that a puppy may mistake for their own any time of year, at Christmas there will be many more temptations, and if the pup destroys a new and maybe expensive present that your child has just received, no one will be happy. Add to this having the time to keep an eye on your pup to avoid toilet accidents whilst making dinner or entertaining family. That joyful happy time you planned with your new puppy could turn out to be quite stressful.
So If you do have children at home, you may have bought the puppy because you want them to learn responsibility, but a Christmas time there will be very few children that will want to carry out the task of making sure the puppy goes out and doesn’t have any accidents on the carpet when they have lots of new toys they want to play with. So are you prepared to find the time in between everything else you need to do to see to the puppies needs if the children are not carrying out these chores? At any other time in the year there would be no question and you would be more than happy to carry out your pups training and spend time interacting with them and the kids, but time is more limited over Xmas, and stress can lead to a raised voice which could damage your relationship with your dog at the early stages.
Don’t set your pup up to fail
A puppy that is loved and cared for and properly trained will make one of the best companions you will ever have, it will be a great friend to your and your children if you have any, and make great memories to last a lifetime. But those that are bought on a whim, or at a time that is not right when they don’t get the proper integration into the home, can often end up in the pound as their new owners have no idea how to raise them.
Please give you pup the best start you possibly can, by bringing them into your home when you do not have other things going on, so that you can devote all the time you need into getting them settled and starting their training, which is why it’s not the best idea to purchase a puppy as a Christmas present.
If you have planned to get a pup and its due to come home to you around the Christmas period, age permitting see if you can get your new puppy a bit before or maybe wait till after the holiday period.
Any reputable breeder will not allow you to take a puppy home for Xmas day anyway.
A week or two either side of Christmas day will make a whole world of difference to your puppy’s start in life after it leaves the safety and security of its mother and litter mates, and you will be able to spend the quality time you need with them to form that lifelong bond.
All the commotion of Xmas Day could be quite upsetting to a puppy which remember is just a baby. You may have heard the saying ‘A puppy is for life, not just for Christmas’ this is very true, and you will have plenty more Xmases ahead in the future to enjoy with your dog and make happy memories.