There is more to adopting a dog at Christmas than the picturesque moment you’ve seen on TV. You know, the one where, under the tree, there is a large perfectly wrapped box that is being opened and an adorable floppy-eared puppy pops out. The family smiles 100-watt smiles as they hug and cuddle their new family member. However, adopting a new dog is a big endeavor and should not be taken as lightly as a commercial.
In fact, this is why a lot of shelters tighten up their adoption protocols during this time of year. Pets are not just gifts, they aren’t toys, they are living animals with love in their hearts.
Here are a few things you should think about before you decided whether or not you should go for adoption this season:
When you should adopt a dog for Christmas:
- Will the person be able to take care of the new dog?
- Are you or the new owner financially stable enough to care for them?
- You know that they have their shots and vet care lined up.
- The family knows that this dog is in their lives forever
- There are some preparations and supplies already ready for the new dog
You have to have a well thought out plan for adopting a dog. Think about the financial costs as well; pet sitters or boarding for when you’re not home, leashes, food, veterinary care, etc. You need to have a plan of who will walk them and a clear idea of messes that will need to be picked up, plus housebreaking.
When you should NOT adopt a dog for Christmas:
- It’s a complete surprise and you just think your loved one wants it.
- You’re not sure if you or the one receiving can financially handle the care
- You don’t have any supplies or preparations made
- Other pets in the home that may cause an unhappy or stressful environment
- There is no thought about commitment for the long run
Getting your child a dog for Christmas is always a fun surprise, but there needs to be a plan in place. Especially if your child will be growing up and moving out soon. They may be able to take their dog with them, but some apartments and most dorms do not allow pets. This means the dog will become your responsibility. With good care, pets will, and should, live 10 years or more. If you don’t have a plan for the long run, then it probably is best to skip this idea.
Adopting a dog for Christmas can be a fun and exciting time for a family. As long as it is done properly, adding a new family member is truly a gift that keeps giving. Bringing a new animal to your home at Christmas undoubtedly can be wonderful, but it is not something to go into without a plan.