To Adopt, or Not to Adopt: The Ultimate Christmas Puppy Questionnaire

We’ll come out and say it: puppies are cute. In fact, the cute factor is so overwhelming that puppies are frequently gifted during the holiday season, and honestly, there’s not much more exciting than finding a puppy under the tree on Christmas morning. While gifting an adorable pup (to yourself or someone else), is sure to bring joy, that doesn’t mean it’s a good decision in the long run. Are you sure that you, or that person is ready for a brand new pet? This questionnaire is designed to help you think through your puppy adoption prior to bringing that adorable face home.

How much do you know about the breed?

Every dog breed is different. Between grooming requirements, the amount of food they eat, their temperament, and their energy level, breed determines a lot when it comes to your dog’s personality and needs.

Prior to adopting a puppy, do some research to determine which breeds best fit your lifestyle. For instance, if you are an active person and want a dog to join you on your morning run, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel probably isn’t the right breed for you.

While knowing a dog’s breed isn’t always an option, especially at shelters, the more you’re able to learn about what it will take to care for your pet, the more prepared you will be to provide that care.

Can you handle puppy or older dog training?

Think about it: a holiday adoption means you will be potty training during the winter months. For those of you that haven’t potty trained a puppy before, it requires a lot of standing outside and waiting, which can be pretty miserable in the cold.

Puppy training is no joke, and it’s something that needs to be tackled immediately if you want a well-behaved dog. Not only will you need to get comfortable with standing in the cold, but you may also need to shell out some cash for puppy classes, especially if you’re unfamiliar with training. For many, this isn’t a deal-breaker, but it is something to be aware of prior to adopting a furry friend.

Have you budgeted for the long term?

Adoption fees vary depending on the shelter, the breed, and the age of the dog. In theory, you can adopt for next to nothing, especially if you’re not looking for a purebred pup. However, make no mistake, your pet will make up for any initial savings in the long run.

Cost is a factor you should consider before adopting a puppy. Can you afford to feed a large dog several cups of food per meal? Do you have the finances to pay for weekly or monthly grooming for your pet? Have you set aside savings dedicated to your pet’s veterinary bills, and can you contribute more for an emergency fund? What do you currently own in terms of pet products, and what (like cages, beds, leashes, collars, treats, etc.) do you still need to buy?

Bottom line: your puppy is going to cost you quite a bit of money in the long run, so you need to think through all the various costs associated with owning a pet before making your decision. This is especially true if someone else is going to be the primary pet owner.

What does your schedule look like (and will it change after the pandemic)?

For many of us currently working from home, the idea of taking care of a new puppy is exciting and fun, especially with unlimited time at home to do so. When your schedule returns to normal, though, what will that look like for your puppy?

Working a traditional 9-5 job isn’t ideal for a pet owner, but it’s common. If you work odd hours, travel a lot, or aren’t home often, this might not be the right time to adopt a puppy.

Take your potential pet’s needs into consideration. Will they constantly be alone or in the care of a friend or family member? If so, you may want to hold off until you can dedicate more time to a lifelong animal friend.

From the second you make eye contact with them, puppies draw you in and fill you with joy. It’s all too easy to be blinded by the cuteness and forget the cost and time associated with caring for that puppy as it grows. To ensure that every puppy gets the best possible home, walk yourself through this questionnaire before committing to your adoption.

4 Comments
  1. I love pets but out here in chicago it’s so complicated to find a apartment where they accept pets that’s what stops me from adopting a pet I seen so many people give their pets away it’s sad only people who own their property have as many pets they want

    1. Vero, we have heard that so many times, it’s really such a shame! While there are animal-friendly apartments, they are few and far between. We hope that changes in the future! – Think Glamor

  2. This was such a good article and should be distributed more widely. Dogs need as much care as children and people often do not think about this when adopting a pet.

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