26 November 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Should You Adopt a Small Dog for Christmas?

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Take your time and carefully consider if dog adoption is right for you this Christmas. Photo courtesy Alvin Trusty, Flickr

“Pick me, pick me! I will be your best gift ever. Woof!”

‘Tis the season to be thinking about a new fur baby in the family. You might have a very excited child or children just hoping to love a new dog. But the excitement of the holidays can cause us to make the wrong choices for both our home and our new dog. You need to seriously ask the the question, “Should you adopt a small dog for Christmas?” It is a long-term commitment, but one that can be very rewarding.

Should You Adopt a Small Dog for Christmas?

‘Can we get a puppy?’, this question is where it all begins. Your children have been pestering you for months, may be years, with promises like, ‘I promise to take care of it’ or ‘I’ll walk and train it every day’.  Let me tell you something…. that’s unlikely to happen. Children (even in to their teens) have little concept of the commitment that is required to keep a dog and their life will change over the next ten years so eventually the responsibility will fall on your shoulders.


If your children are pestering you for a dog, and you really do not want one, do not give in. Alternatives include, having your child volunteer at the local dog shelter, offering to look after friends or neighbours dogs, and fostering dogs. You might even like to borrow a neighbours dog that your child takes to dog school. This would be a great lesson for your child, and your neighbours will be having their dog trained for free! Each of these activities allows your child to have dogs in their life but without the continual commitment.


When you feel comfortable with the fact that you will be the primary carer of your dog, you should include the children in the decision making process and preparation for the arrival of a new dog. This is where you can buy some time, have the children do the research and by research I don’t mean one or two days of Googling ‘dogs’ but much more in depth research. Talk to the children about all of the decisions that need to be made in relation to this new dog. These may include… Read more about Christmas Dog Adoption in So the kids want a dog for Christmas? here.

Once you have weighed all of the pros and cons and are ready to adopt, take advantage of the various adoption agencies like the ASPCA and the Humane Society and their various events going on right now. You will often find them at your local pet store or at a dog event. If you can’t make it to one of these, take a trip online to Petfinder, which is a large database of available dogs in your area.

Involve your family when asking the question, “Should you adopt a small dog for Christmas?” Everyone can agree on what works for your household and then make a day of it for visiting adoptable small dogs. Take your time in your search and make sure that your new fur baby is the right fit for you. Not only will you be a hero for Christmas, but for a small dog in need as well.

Have you ever adopted a small dog at Christmas?

Tell us about your experience here!

sarah giles says:

Great article! So much important information here!
If a family is willing to be consistent regardless of the time of year-then this is a great way to go! If it’s all about the flash..and then no function..I would have to say wait..
Having a puppy small or large adds to much to a family! But again, you need to be consistent and be prepared that he/she is a commitment and no-one wants the novelty to wear thin just because its Holiday time 🙂

Sarah Giles