Dogs Are Not Just For Christmas
Thinking of getting a puppy this Christmas? Before you rush out to get one, read this article and reconsider your decision. It’s that time of year again when people start thinking about what presents to buy. It’s all too tempting to go out and buy your kids or partner an adorable little puppy, without really thinking of the consequences. The old saying ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ was coined by the Chief Executive of the Dogs Trust, Clarissa Baldwin in 1978. Ever since then this slogan is resurrected every year to remind people not to be irresponsible.
Children get brand new toys every year for Christmas and within days they get bored of them. They may think getting a puppy is the best thing in the world on Christmas day, but a few days later they will move on to the next toy, leaving mummy and daddy to look after the puppy. Dogs are most certainly not toys and they should not be treated this way at Christmas. Think of it from their perspective, would you want to be transported to a new place and
wrapped up in a cardboard box? It’s quite a stressful experience for a little puppy.
Of all the times to get a puppy, Christmas is definitely not the most sensible choice. Think about how many parties you will want to attend, how much noise is made over the holidays and how harsh the weather can get. This is not the best environment to introduce a puppy, who will find the whole experience of settling into their new home daunting anyway. You will need to stay home with them all the time, which means no Christmas and New Years Parties. Do you really want to be clearing up dog mess, be kept up all night and have to take a puppy out every hour in the freezing cold?
If you feel you must get a dog in December then just make sure you carefully consider your decision. Go through your plans for the next month and see whether looking after a new puppy would be feasible. If you want to know what’s involved with getting a new puppy and whether you are ready to be a dog owner then take a look at our ‘should you buy a puppy’ checklist here.
You need to think about whether you can be at home all day, if you have a suitable enclosed garden and how much time you can dedicate to puppy training.
It’s also not a good idea to get a puppy as a surprise this Christmas. Don’t get anyone a dog without involving them in the decision. They need to feel a bond with the dog and understand what they are getting themselves into. Too many people buy puppies as gifts for people who don’t really want them. The whole family needs to be on board if you are going to get a puppy, and everyone needs to pitch in.
Rescue centres get overwhelmed in the aftermath of Christmas. Unfortunately many dogs get returned to rescue centres in January and February because people realise when it’s too late what they have got themselves into. Puppies are hard work and you need to be ready to put in the time and effort to rear a healthy, happy puppy.