You only have a few hours left until Christmas, and if you’re like us, you’re doing the last minute “oh shit I’m running out of time” scramble. While there are many suitable last minute gift options out there (think jewelry, electronics, and gift certificates), getting a puppy as a Christmas surprise is NOT one of them. Seriously. Don’t do it.
We’ve all seen those videos online of small children squee-ing with glee as a fuzzy puppy flops out of a box with a giant red bow. Here’s the thing though. Kids (and frankly, a lot of adults) are notoriously unreliable (and smelly and gross…oh wait…different blog post). Anyway, the puppy melts their hearts for a few days or weeks. The kids oohing and aahing under the tree while harassing the new puppy will soon move on to video games and texting their friends 322 times per day. It’s no coincidence that you never see viral youtube videos of a family ignoring their dog once the novelty wears off.
One major problem with the surprise Christmas pup is that pretty much no ethical dog “provider” (whether it be a breeder or a shelter) will support the idea of giving a dog as a surprise present. Good breeders have spent years carefully creating breeding programs and selecting proper owners. Similarly, experienced rescue group volunteers and shelter workers generally hate the whole idea of the Christmas dog because they know many of those dogs will be coming back to them a few months later.
So what kind of dogs are readily available at Christmas? Probably the ones you shouldn’t get. Puppy mills grind out thousands of puppies to meet holiday demand and fill up pet store windows around the country. If we have to explain to you why one shouldn’t buy a puppy mill dog, then you should do us a favor and a) punch yourself in the throat and b) do a google search. And not necessarily in that order.
So ultimately, if you are looking to surprise someone for Christmas, get them an Xbox or iPhone, or a nice cozy scarf instead. When you get bored with it, you can shove it in a dark recess of your closet without worrying it will piss on your sweater and a chew a hole in your wall.