‘Tis the season for puppy purchasing: Know the risks

With Christmas on the way, don’t be tempted to buy a furry friend for loved ones this year.


Although we would always promote adoption first and foremost, we know that puppies make fantastic pets for a well-prepared home. But those who buy them as gifts for Christmas have often not considered how big of a commitment becoming a dog owner is. 

Often, those who receive a puppy as a gift find that they’re unable to make that lifelong commitment to care for their new friend, despite being an animal lover.  

This could be for many reasons, whether it’s realising they don’t have time to give the puppy the care and attention it needs to develop into a well-rounded dog, or finding out the hidden costs of vet bills, pet insurance and food, or simply that the children of the household lose interest in caring for the puppy and other family members don’t step in to help. 

Potential owners must think long and hard about whether now is the right time to have a puppy. 

Do they have the time, money and resources available to take care of a dog for up to 15 years? If not, it’s best to wait until they do. 

But, don’t be disheartened - a pet’s presence isn’t always the best present on Christmas day. Instead here are some pet-centric ideas that will be just as meaningful and make sure you’re all ready when the right time arrives to introduce a pet to your home:  

  • Sponsor a dog at your local rescue centre – you’ll often be sent updates about how ‘your’ dog is doing and you may even receive a certificate or cuddly toy
  • Buy a children’s book on puppies and dogs to establish how keen they really are to have one, or if they lose interest quickly
  • If the recipient is definitely ready for a dog, why not wrap up a dog bed to put under the tree with the promise that you will all visit the rescue centre together after the holidays and pick out a dog that suits your lifestyle?

With many dogs being surrendered to rescue centres in the cost-of-living crisis, and so many unscrupulous illegal breeders concerned about profit, we’re urging people now more than ever to adopt not shop. 

The best things take time and having a dog can be one of the most fulfilling life experiences you can have. So, plenty of time spent researching and preparing is the most important thing you can do before bringing a pet home. So, for the sake of the animal, please make sure the recipient is well and truly ready for the lifelong commitment of pet ownership before you buy a furry friend this Christmas.

commit to buying a puppy responsibly

Animal Charity - Daisy

Daisy Sopel

Junior Campaigner

Daisy works in the Campaigns Team at FOUR PAWS UK, supporting her colleagues in the delivery of our wild, farm and companion animal campaigns. She has a background in animal behaviour and welfare and has almost a decade’s worth of experience working with sanctuaries and wildlife rehabilitation centres.

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