Around the holidays we see a lot of ads for "Christmas Puppies for Sale." There are also a lot of negative feelings about puppies being sold as Christmas presents. So what's the deal, is it good or bad and why?? It all depends on the person's individual circumstances.
As a rule, pets should NEVER be given as presents without the person on the receiving end’s knowledge. It is not fair to give a living creature as a surprise present. Sure, you may be paying for the initial cost, however that initial cost is NOTHING compared to the rest of the pet’s life. Living creatures require a lot of time, money and TLC years beyond the initial cost.
Is it OK to give a pet to my child as a surprise Christmas present?
Having a pet can be very rewarding for a child. It can teach them responsibility and it is proven that children with pets are overall happier. People who own pets live longer, have less stress and have fewer heart attacks. Most pet owners say their pets make them smile more than once a day. If the person you are giving the pet to is your own child, it can be a surprise, but only under the condition YOU YOURSELF, as a parent, want the pet as much as the child and YOU are ready and willing to take on the work of the new pet. Often times children do not realize how much work having a pet can be. If you as a parent are not willing to do the work yourself, do not get the pet. This is a living creature; one that will suffer if not properly cared for. Parents must be paying close attention at all times to the care their child is giving to the pet. If your child is not responsible with the pet, YOU as a parent must take over. Pets should not be treated as disposable objects. If you as a parent are not ready for the work load of a pet, DO NOT get the pet. While you might think you have a very responsible child who will never forget to feed and clean up after Fido, there will be times the child sleeps over a friend's house or absentmindedly forgets to care for the pet. Parents need to oversee the pet’s care seven days a week to ensure the pet is properly cared for.
When is it OK to buy a pet as a Christmas present?
When the pet was already decided upon BEFORE the holiday season. When the person you are buying the pet for is well aware of your intentions and has given it a lot of thought and has done a lot of research on the type of pet, ongoing cost, time and care involved in keeping the pet. This especially goes for puppies. Have you ever heard the saying "Before one has kids they should have a dog"? Dogs, especially puppies can be just about as much work as a human child. If all parties are in agreement and the pet would have been adopted with or without the upcoming Christmas season, it is OK to wait until the holidays to adopt the pet.
BUT FIRST, ask yourself... Are you ready for a dog??