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Avoid gifting a puppy this holiday season

American Kennel Club on

Published in Cats & Dogs News

A cute puppy sounds like the ideal Christmas present, but it may be best to avoid gifting a pup this time of year.

As tempting as it may be to grant the family a new four-legged member, the holidays are not the ideal time for new puppy ownership. The first few months of a puppy’s life in your home are very important, and he requires lots of attention, training, love and care.

Here are factors you should consider if you are thinking about getting a puppy as a present.

— Pets are a huge responsibility. The idea of surprising a loved one with a puppy sounds like a dream come true, but realistically, it’s important to consider whether he/she is fully ready for and capable of this responsibility. Dogs can live up to 20 years (depending on the breed), and it's important that you know the recipient can care for the pet. This means they can provide the dog with plenty of exercise, training, veterinary care and — most important — lots of love and attention.


— Build up excitement. Instead of presenting a puppy as a Christmas present, create the anticipation that there may be one in the near future. For example, gift-wrap pet supplies such as food bowls, a leash or a dog-related toy and give them to your kids to imply that a new member will be joining the family after the holiday. Sit together and research the breed you think best suits your family’s lifestyle and talk about the responsibilities everyone in the household will have.

— Do your research. When you decide that you are ready for a new puppy, be sure to do your research. Attend local dog shows and talk with reputable breeders who can help decide what breed is best for you. The AKC also publishes several free brochures on being a responsible dog owner.

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