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A Christmas Puppy: A Bad Idea, or the Worst Idea Ever?


The kids have been begging you for a puppy since Labor Day and have met all of your demands. Their rooms are clean, their homework has been completed with a minimum complaint, and their grades are good. You are in a corner!

Or maybe this sounds familiar:

The idea of surprising your boyfriend with the puppy of his dreams is too overwhelming, and you have to do it! You know that having a dog will bond you together, and practicing before you start a human family is what you want. You have been planning, and you are ready to make the next move.

A Christmas Puppy: A Bad Idea, But Why?

Despite any fantasies involving perfect golden retrievers wearing red ribbons, giving a puppy as a gift for the holidays has some solid down sides that we will examine today. At Antelope Valley, we are dedicated to the well-being of all the animals we come across, and even those we will never meet. Many people argue against giving or getting a puppy for the holidays for quite reasonable reasons. There is a saying that Christmas puppies become Easter shelter dogs.  We will go over a few of those reasons.

A Chaotic Start

  • The Winter Break, for many families (especially those with school-aged children), is a time of traveling, excitement, and gift-giving, which can mean days filled with noises, bright lights, and people coming and going.

  • This is not the best time to get a puppy because puppies need to adjust to their new home in peace and quiet. This is a huge change for a little puppy.

  • Going from living with warm and cozy sibling and mother and father to being part of a human family can become a traumatic experience if not handled correctly.

Who Has the Time?

  • A new puppy needs time and attention. Winter break can be filled with travel and excitement, and their potty training and basic training needs can be de-prioritized to the detriment of the puppy, your carpet, and quite possibly your patience.

  • Puppies also need a regular schedule. If you spend tons of time with your puppy for a couple of weeks and then put it it in its kennel for 10 hours a day, your puppy will very likely develop behavior or emotional problems.

Dubious Origins

  • If you are able to get a puppy from a breeder to put under your tree, the chances of this being a reputable breeder are slim.

  • A good breeder is in control of their dog’s breeding and will not plan to put puppies up for adoption this time of year to avoid dogs being given as gifts.

  • If you are able to purchase a dog near Christmas, you need to seriously think about the fact that you could be supporting a puppy mill by doing so.

Puppy Mills: The Worst Idea Ever

Puppy mills are commercial ventures that produce puppies without regard to the well-being, health or emotional condition of the puppies, or the parents. Frequently held in repulsive, obscenely unfit conditions, the breeding dogs are bred at unhealthy rates until the can not breed any longer and then are basically discarded. The operators of these mills are out, for one thing, money. They do not care about dogs, puppies, or about you. Numerous people think they are buying a dog from a store that doesn’t use puppy mills but realize later that it did. When they get the puppy home, it is sick, infested with worms, or has a medical condition that costs the new owners tons of money, not to mention the heartache. This is all if the puppy survives, and not all do. You need only go onto YouTube to learn all about the horrifying life that puppy mill dogs endure.

When you decide the time is right for a puppy, do your research, find a respectable breeder, and set aside a time that it is right for your sake and the sake of your puppy. Remember, you may have several dogs over the course of your life, but you will hopefully be the only human family that dog has for its entire existence.


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