Sorry to mention the word 'Christmas', afterall, I know we are still in October but it’s about this time that people start to think about buying their Christmas presents.
I'm not going to be a bah humbug and tell you not to buy a puppy/dog as a Christmas present (I have my views on this, but ultimately that’s your decision) but what I am going to ask is that you think hard about whether Christmas is the right time of year to introduce a puppy/dog into your home.
Introducing a puppy/dog into your home can be a very stressful time for the puppy/dog and it is best to do this gradually and calmly, preferably when all family members are prepared and adjusted to the idea and when the household routine is as normal as possible. Christmas and New Year are generally times of celebration, noise, rowdiness and excitement for families, with constant upheaval going on and when the routine of day-to-day life is different from the norm.
It takes time to learn about dog ownership and make an informed decision as to whether or not a new puppy is a good idea for the family and the household. The decision to get a puppy/dog shouldn’t be taken lightly or made quickly. Getting a puppy/dog should be on the understanding that you are committed to providing for and caring for your new puppy, not just in the short or even long term, but for the lifetime of that puppy. I would strongly advise anyone thinking of getting a puppy/dog to undertake research on what is involved, the commitment that is required, the work that is necessary and the costs associated with having a puppy/dog, plus the general responsibilities of dog ownership and the affect that having a dog will have on your life (social and work).
If you are planning to give a puppy to a loved one this Christmas please make sure:
- You plan well ahead for their arrival. Don't make a rash decision but consider carefully where you get your puppy from. Make sure you are not buying from a pet shop or puppy farm. Click here for more advice on finding a good breeder.
- Consider what is the right breed for you and your family's lifestyle - there are many factors that should be thought about here. It must not be on what the puppy looks like, but how their breed specific characteristics fit in with your lifestyle. A family who work long hours should not look to get a working dog who requires lots of exercise for example. Click here for more advice on choosing the right breed for you.
- Do your research on how to deal with a puppy and introduce him/her correctly to your family. I provide a 1 hour 121 service where I can help you with suggestions for bringing your puppy home, setting up your home in preparation for his/her arrival, introducing children and other pets and what equipment you might need etc. Click here for more information on this valuable 121 service. I would also strongly recommend reading the following book (or other puppy training book, however, this one I particularly recommend)! ‘The Perfect Puppy’ by Gwen Bailey.
- Consider the lifetime work, commitment and costs involved in having a puppy (your time, cost of food, training, insurance, vet bills and bedding, their exercise regime etc).
- Think hard about whether your whole family are ready and prepared to offer your new addition a FOREVER home.