Christmas dog

Bringing Home a Puppy for the Holidays

What could be cuter than giving your kids a new puppy for the holidays? The joy on their little faces when they see their new family member is priceless. But the next day when you walk into your kitchen and step on some fresh puppy poo and notice that your new bundle of joy has chew up your favorite pair of leather shoes you realize that having a new puppy is not priceless. It’s expensive. And time consuming. Obviously we love pets, we’ve dedicated our site to helping new and experienced pet owner take care of and having loving relationships with their pets. But statistically, each year 2-4 weeks after a major holiday shelters see a huge uptake in the number of puppies that get turned in. This is often because family members decide to “gift” someone a puppy without either discussing it with the household in which that puppy is going to live or without seriously considering the realistic needs of a young puppy.

There are numerous ways in which you can show your love of animals without taking home a new puppy for the holidays. You can make a donation to a local shelter in your loved one’s name, volunteer your time to help take care of shelter pups, or you could even try fostering an animal in need. But, if your heart is set on bringing home a new puppy for any of the fall or winter holidays then allow us to pass on some advice that will help make your transition into puppyhood as smooth as possible.


Puppies require a lot of time and attention. So if you’re planning on bringing your pup home over a holiday weekend you’ll need to be prepared to be with that puppy a lot. An 8-9 week old can hold it’s bladder only for the numbers of months old it is plus one. So, for an example, if you bring home an 8 week old puppy, that would mean that she can hold her bladder for 2 hours plus maybe one additional hour. But young puppies under four months of age can’t really handle that extra hour, that means that you’re going to need to let your puppy out to go potty or have a friend ready to let her out every two hours.

Thinking of leaving your puppy home with some pee pads for half a day while you hit up some black friday deals? Sorry, think again. Not only do puppies need to go potty frequently, and this obviously includes number two, they also need to three to four times a day. Puppies are not the same as older dogs, they need small meals spaced out over the course of a day as opposed to two larger meals in the morning and in the evening.


Unsurprisingly, bringing home a new puppy is expensive. Just like with babies, puppies need supplies to keep them happy, healthy, and safe. For a starting point use the list below to start building your puppy supplies:

There are also medical costs associated with bringing home a new puppy. Depending on your puppy’s age she may be due for her next round of booster shots, vaccinations, wormers, and flea and tick medication. We recommend that you take your puppy in for a vet appoint within the first week of bringing her home.

The last cost is the adoption or purchase cost. Shelter costs can range from $100-$500 dollars whereas breeder costs can range from $500-$3,000. Make sure that you know that you are fully financially set and prepared for the price of your puppy before falling in love.

Puppy Proofing

Bringing home a puppy is just like bringing home a baby. Except your puppy will be able to walk from the day you bring it home and it has sharp teeth that can chew through just about anything. A good rule of thumb is that if it’s on the ground a puppy will put it in its mouth. The holidays can be especially due to the presence of dangerous hazards for young puppies such as candy, bones from dinner, electronic, decorations, and more. With the appropriate use of baby gates you may be able to keep your puppy away from larger items such as Christmas trees, but you’ll need to be vigilant about where children are leaving their toys and candy.

Also, everyday items like phone charges and tv cords can be a potential danger for puppies. You’ll need to corral your cords and take as many off the ground as possible before bringing your puppy home. We recommend that shoes and other loose items be put out of reach of your puppy until he has learned that these items are off limits.

And lastly, although we shouldn’t have to say this, puppies can not be placed in garages while you wait to unveil them nor can they be tied up in hat boxed with a bow like they are in the movies. Your garage has many dangers in it, especially in the winter with things like antifreeze and road salt being used so commonly. And if you’re planning on keeping your puppy in a crate in the garage until the big moment there are two problems with that idea. One, if your garage is not heated it could be too hot or too cold to leave a puppy there. And two, puppies when left alone, and honestly when not left alone as well, are loud. If you leave an eight week old puppy out alone in the garage so that you can surprise your girlfriend, children, or husband, the surprise will probably be ruined by the puppy cries. Puppies don’t like to be left alone and they won’t care if you’re trying to surprise someone, if you leave them alone they’re going to cry.

Home For The Holidays

Bringing home a new puppy can be fun, but everyone isn’t on-board and fully prepared for the reality of bringing home a living being then the excitement of bringing home a new puppy can quickly turn into frustration and anger. If you’d like more information on the realities of bringing home a new puppy check out our entire puppy archive. With over 10,000 vet approved articles we take pride in being one of the largest online source of pet information.