Some of what you’ve heard is true. For example, if you want a pure-bred puppy for cheap, just wait until after the holidays and go to your local pound. Many unprepared families will purchase a puppy only to lose interest in the weeks following New Year’s and the dog ends up at the local shelter. This is an unfortunate and undeniable truth.
A dog is a living, feeling, thinking and loving being and not a toy. A dog needs love, food, veterinary care, time, training, the list goes on and on. A dog is a commitment – a financial, emotional and time commitment for likely around 15 years or more. So the latest push to discourage impulse dog adoptions and purchases around the holidays makes perfect sense. But are we throwing out the puppy with the bath water? Could perfectly responsible dog/owner matches be thwarted because more and more rescue organizations and breeders are refusing to allow any dog adoptions during the Christmas season?
Many families are home more during a holiday break which allows for more bonding time with a new furry family member. These additional hours where everyone is home also means that the new dog can begin potty training, if they aren’t already house broken. Plus there are dogs in need of homes all year-round. The need for a good home for a good dog doesn’t somehow go away simply because Santa is coming to town.
Dogs make terrible presents. It’s not fair to the dog or their potential new master for a dog to be a big surprise. But if a responsible adult, who understands what is involved and is fully ready to take on the responsibility of a dog makes the conscious decision to adopt a dog during December what could be so wrong with that?
So instead of saying, don’t adopt a dog for Christmas, how about we encourage the following instead: Don’t give a dog as a gift for any occasion – not Valentine’s Day, not a birthday, not Columbus Day and not Christmas. Get yourself the latest game console instead because it won’t miss you when you grow tired of it. But let’s also celebrate those responsible adults that for one reason or another simply found their next best friend and didn’t want that dear friend to be put down – even if they happened to find the next furry love of their life at Christmas.