Ask Dr. Diane: Adopting a Dog at Christmas

Dear Dr. Diane: My daughter (age 10) is already asking for a dog for Christmas. Our 14-year-old chihuahua passed away in February and we haven’t been ready for another dog until now. I know that Christmas isn’t a good time to adopt a dog (my daughter and I both agree we should adopt a shelter dog) but we have a very quiet Christmas at home planned this year. Since my daughter is out of school and I’m off work, it seems like it might be a good time. Do you think it could be a good time? I think we’re both ready for a new dog in our family!

Your daughter is at a perfect age to receive and learn how to properly care for an animal companion. Although I usually do NOT recommend adopting a pet during the holidays, it sounds as though you and your daughter are ready for another pet to love and cherish.

The fact that you are planning a very quiet Christmas at home indicates to me that the presence of a wonderful animal companion WOULD be appropriate at this time so that you can integrate and assimilate her into your lives and spend additional enjoyable quality family time together. Just so long as she is not subjected to crowds, noise, rich foods and the general frenzy, chaos and freneticism of many people’s version of the holidays, I think it would be a good decision for you and your daughter.

Also, I applaud you for waiting to adopt another dog after your Chihuahua’s death so that you could grieve and mourn his loss and celebrate his life. I congratulate you for your intention to save the life of an animal and adopt a shelter pet who truly needs a loving and caring home. I hope she will be a joyous addition to your holidays and your lives.


Do you have a question for Dr. Diane? We’re proud to say she provides expert tips here on DogTipper so please send in your questions on our Ask Dr. Diane contact form! Dr. Pomerance is an animal behavior specialist and an expert on topics such as deciding which puppy is best for your family, how to pick out a rescue, and on healing from the loss of a pet.

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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is the founder and co-publisher of LT Media Group LLC. Along with her husband, John Bigley, she edits,, and has authored over 30 books on pets and travel.