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Pasadena Humane Reminds You to Think Twice Before Buying a Puppy as a Christmas Gift

Published on Dec 15, 2020

Christmas is just around the corner, and as many of us scramble to find Christmas presents for the whole family, some of us are considering buying a puppy to surprise your children and make this the most memorable Christmas yet.

Before you do this, Pasadena Humane wants to remind you to think twice, and to join them on Wednesday, December 16, to discuss this topic even further.

In this webinar – titled “Do Puppies Make Good Christmas Gifts?” – Fernando Diaz, Behavior Manager at Pasadena Humane, gives the skinny on responsibly choosing a new dog. He’ll also share tips on a safe and happy relationship between your new furry family member and your kids.

If you’re ever considering giving someone a pet this season, there are some pros and cons that you might have to think about before making that decision.

While giving pets – usually puppies or kittens – may have been a long tradition for most Americans, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends the giving of pets as gifts only to people who have expressed a sustained interest in owning one, and have shown the ability to care for it responsibly. ASPCA also recommends that pets to be given as gifts are better obtained from animal shelters, rescue organizations, friends, family or responsible breeders – not from places where the source of the animal is unknown or untrusted.

The ASPCA recently conducted a survey to learn more about people who acquire pets as gifts and found out that 96 percent of the people who received pets as gifts thought it either increased or had no impact on their love or attachment to that pet.

The vast majority of these pets – about 86 percent – are still in the home. The survey also revealed no difference in attachment based on the gift being a surprise or known in advance. The ASPCA also mentioned several studies conducted in the 1990s and in 2000 which found that pets acquired as gifts are less likely to be relinquished than pets acquired by the individual.

On the other hand, Cesar Millan, a Mexican-American dog behaviourist who’s widely known for his television series, “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan,” broadcast in more than 100 countries worldwide, says Christmas may not be the best time to give pets as gifts.

“Christmas time is already pretty hectic as it is, do you really want to make someone or some family even more bonkers during the busiest time of the year by sticking them with a new family addition? Pets are a long term commitment – dogs can live for 12-15 years on average, while cats can easily live more than 15 years. Unless you know for a fact that this is exactly the kind of commitment that someone has been looking for, don’t give them a pet. Get them a pair of socks instead,” Millan writes on

However, if you really have to give someone a pet, he suggests you never surprise him or her. It’s better to ask them first to be sure what kind of pet to give them and that they’re ready to care for the pet. He also suggests you wait until the holidays are over, when the entire family can sit down and discuss everything involved in having an “addition” to the family.

Fernando Diaz will talk more about this on Wednesday’s webinar, which happens from 12 to 1 p.m.

To register, go to and click Get Tickets.

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