Annual Rant: Why Puppies Make Lousy Holiday Gifts

shutterstock_236101117Please, please please, no puppies under trees! (OK, so I’ve been reading a lot of Dr. Suess with my kids lately.) Puppies make really awful Christmas / Hanukkah / Kwanzaa gifts for a wide variety of reasons. Please find something else to give your loved ones, then go adopt a pet AFTER the holidays.

Here’s the thing: when you give someone a puppy, or even a full-grown dog, you are asking them to make a lifelong commitment to another living being. One which they may not be willing or even capable of fulfilling. Thousands of dogs are brought to shelters soon after the holidays every year because the person who received the animal as a gift was unable to continue caring for him or because the actual dog didn’t measure up to the fantasy dog they had in mind.

Puppies, especially, are a big fat nuisance because they chew up everything you own and they pee all over your house. If the person you are giving the puppy to has no understanding of how to train a dog, both the dog and the person are in for a very long ride.

If you are in a situation where you will be helping to care for the animal, such as giving a puppy to your kids, I can live with that. Just make sure you know what you are getting into. Do your research as to breeds and try to find your new dog at a shelter, if you can.

If you’ve never had a dog before, make sure you know what to expect before you get one. Be realistic as to what size of dog will fit into your home and lifestyle. Choose a dog who is likely to have the same activity level as you do. Really active dogs don’t do well cooped up inside all winter. Really smart dogs need mental, as well as physical, exercise every single day.

Stepping off of my soap box now.

Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!

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