A puppy is not just for Christmas
Christmas is quickly approaching and children are starting to write out their lists for Santa. These lists over time have adapted and changed. Ten years ago you were likely to find a Nintendo DS at the top of the list, coupled with the latest version of Pokemon. Today, it will be the latest iPad or iPhone. But despite advances in gadgets and technology, one of the few requests for children at Christmas that has always featured high on a child's Christmas wish list is a puppy.
UK based website santa.co.uk receives thousands of requests for texts and letters every year. They recently announced that the demand for a new puppy or kitten on children's Christmas wish list was higher than ever. This leaves parents in a very difficult place, wanting to reward their children for being good all year and even choosing the more active and engaging gift that a puppy would be over the iPad or game console that promotes a less active lifestyle. More often than not, the decision to purchase a new pet in December is often made around choices like these, with families failing to ask the questions that really matter the most. This statement alone may sound presumptuous, but based on statistics that an average of 500 puppies are abandoned every year between January and December, how can we say otherwise?
Of course, we don't want to discount those families who choose to welcome a new pet in to their home over Christmas because that is one of the few times a year when the whole family is likely to be home for the holidays. It is very important that a new pet is given the best opportunity to familiarise itself with new people and new environments. For those families, and others still in the decision making process, research your chosen breed and carefully consider the following questions and thoughts:
1/. Dogs can live anywhere from 10-20 years. Are you prepared to care for your pet for that length of time?
2/. Do you have enough time to spend exercising your pet? Some dogs require hours of exercise daily and every dog needs regular walks
3/. Can you provide the right environment for your dog?
4/. Can you afford the costs associated with owning a pet? This includes food, microchip, neutering, annual vaccinations, on-going flea and worm treatment, pet insurance and vet bills
5/. Have you properly researched the animal's needs to ensure you can provide for them?
6/. Are you prepared for the training of a puppy? Toilet and obediance training can be hard work and take patience and time
7/. Do you have the time to care for a pet? Children may want their own pet but realistically they will lose interest and it is you who will end up with the responsibility
If you have carefully considered all of the concerns above, then you may be ready to find yourself a puppy this Christmas. Once trained, you can make a friend and member of the family for life. Expect it to be a busy time over the festive period at your local vet, so plan ahead and arrange your appointments once you have found the perfect puppy. Puppies need to be wormed and treated for fleas as often as every month, so consider having your first treatments available for when your puppy first arrives home. It can be a very anxious and stressful time when your puppy first leaves its mother, so be prepared tor the time it may take to adapt. If you have decided to buy a puppy for Christmas, post your Christmas pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #petsensepets so we can share the happy moment with you.