‘Tis the season for giving! The holidays are a time of joy, cheer, love, family time, and giving back.

And for some, getting a dog during the holidays sounds like a wonderful idea for the season of giving. However, this heartwarming moment doesn’t always end in a happily ever after.

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Getting a dog as a “surprise” gift is not something we recommend. After all, pets are not gifts, they are a a lifelong commitment.

However, if you want to adopt a dog this holiday season, then you’re in the right place! In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about holiday dog adoption.

Continue reading to find out if you’re ready to for a new furry addition to the family this holiday season!

Holiday Dog Adoption: Is It A Good Or Bad Idea?

Well, the answer really depends. If you are prepared for the commitment that adopting a dog entails, then it’s actually a good idea (and a good deed!) But if you’re even a bit hesitant and think that you’re not ready for that kind of responsibility, then it is a bad idea.

Adopting a pet during the holiday season has long been a subject of controversy. Because a lot of people surprise their loved ones with dogs as gifts, only for them to give the dog away to a shelter after a few months.

Giving a dog as a “surprise” gift during the holiday season can be risky. Pets are a responsibility, and you need to be prepared and be able to provide its needs in order to take care of it.

However, if you’ve carefully thought and prepared for the responsibilities being a dog parent entails, then you can make a furry friend’s holiday (and yours, too) a lot more magical by adopting them.

Factors To Consider When Adopting A Dog During The Holidays

There’s plenty of reasons to adopt a dog, but there’s just something so special and magical about doing so during the Season of Giving, but only if you do it right!

Still unsure if adopting a pooch this holiday is the right time for you? Here are some important factors you should consider:

1. Recipient

Kid Gets Out Puppy From Cardboard Box At Home. Child Has Birthday Present
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Who is the dog intended for? Is it going to be for you? For your child? For the family? For a friend? Furthermore, do you know if the recipient has any allergies you should consider?

This is why holiday dog adoption has become so controversial. Because the recipient of the pooch is not at all prepared for the lifelong commitment of taking care of a dog.

Liking dogs is not synonymous to being able to take care of one. Also, you need to remember that children can be too immature and distracted to fully understand and commit to taking care of a dog.

At the end of the day, if the dog is for your child, then you’ll be ultimately responsible for your child’s furry friend.

2. Cost

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Getting a dog and taking care of one can be costly. It means having to spend money on food, veterinary care, grooming, training, and other pet supplies. So, you have to make sure that whoever is getting the dog is financially prepared.

Furthermore, the cost of adopting a dog depends on the local shelter or rescue you’re getting it from.

3. Family Preparedness

Happy Family With Kid And Dog Spending Time Together On Warm Sunny Day At Home.
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Taking care of a dog is a lot of work. If the dog is going to live with you and your family, make sure that everyone is involved in the whole process — from the adoption process, feeding, walking, grooming, training, veterinary care, etc.

4. Living Situation

Man Working With His Dog Beside Him
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Is your living situation suitable for the dog you’re adopting? Will it be living with other pets? Children? Or both? Will you be able to set aside time to take it on walks, train it, or spend time with it?

You have to consider your living situation and lifestyle before getting a dog. Furthermore, while there are some low energy dog breeds, there are some that are high energy and need a lot of exercise, too.

5. Commitment

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We want to reiterate that adopting a dog is a lifelong commitment. So whether you adopt a dog during the holidays or not, taking care of one goes beyond the holiday season.

While having a dog in your life brings immense joy and comfort, it also brings a lot of responsibilities. So, before pushing with that holiday dog adoption, ask yourself: are you (or the recipient) ready to take on all of these responsibilities for a long time?

The Pros And Cons Of Holiday Dog Adoption

Holiday Dog Adoption
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There are a lot of reasons to get a new dog for the holidays, and these include:

  • It adds to the holiday joy. Getting a dog during the Season of Giving feels a lot more special and it’s no secret that dogs (or pets in general) help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Be able to establish new traditions. Having a dog at home means having new and fun holiday traditions! Like taking a family picture with your pooch, buying them their own holiday gifts, and so much more!
  • Family bonding. With everyone on vacation, the whole family has extra time at home to bond and train the new pet. Furthermore, this is also a great time to help the dog through its transition period. Both the family and the new pet can have the time to get to know each other and settle in at home a lot better.
  • A gift of companionship. If everyone at home has carefully considered the decision and is prepared for the new furry addition to the family, then your holiday dog adoption is going to be a wonderful and magical gift of companionship for everyone in the family.
  • It saves a dog’s life. Did you know that 3.1 million dogs enter shelters every year? So, holiday dog adoption, when done right, can save a dog’s life. Also, it helps make room for other animals at local shelters and rescues.


While holiday dog adoption has a lot of pros, it also has its share of drawbacks. Here are a few you should consider before going through with that adoption:

  • Making impulsive decisions. The festivity that the season brings might lead to impulsive decisions, such as adopting a dog. Again, we’d like to reiterate that dog adoption is a long-term responsibility.
  • Time commitment. Even though everyone is on vacation during the holidays, the season can still be hectic! You have holiday activities to plan, or even travel plans! This may not be ideal to a dog who’s just adjusting to a new home.
  • Stress for the dog. Not having enough time to take care of the dog can stress it out. Furthermore, the holidays can be noisy with a lot of guests coming over, loud fireworks, and other noises — a dog may find such environment overwhelming.

Holiday Dog Adoption Tips

Woman Choosing Dog From Animal Shelter
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You think you’re ready for this lifelong commitment with a furry friend? Here are a few tips for holiday dog adoption:

  1. Plan the adoption thoroughly. Make sure that you are making an informed decision to adopt, and that everyone in the family is on board and ready for the newest addition to the family.
  2. Look for and choose a local animal shelter or rescue organization. We highly encourage that you choose a dog from a local animal shelter or rescue. While many shelters discourage holiday dog adoption due to the above mentioned cons, there may be some that will accommodate your request, especially if you are prepared and serious about the adoption.
  3. Make sure you’re spending most of the holidays at home. A dog’s transition period is important, but can be difficult and stressful for them if not done right. So, to ensure that the pooch has enough time to get to know the family, settle into the house, and start establishing routines, make sure you are spending the holidays at home.
  4. Consider waiting to adopt until January. Can’t give up a planned holiday trip but is really willing to and prepared to adopt? Or is the holiday schedule too tight for a holiday dog adoption? Then it might be worth it to wait till January, after the hustle and bustle of the season.
  5. Make sure everyone is on board. If the dog is going to be a family pet, then ensure that everyone is on board with the decision. Furthermore, make sure that they’re ready and that they understand the responsibilities it entails to care for a dog.


Jack Russell Under The Christmas Tree In The Room
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Pets, no matter the occasion or season, are not just “gifts”. And while there is just something so wonderful about holiday dog adoption, it’s important to remember that adopting a dog, or any kind of pet, is a serious and lifelong commitment.

If you think you can’t fulfill the duty of a dog parent, then you might want to cross ‘adopting a dog’ off your Christmas wish list!

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