All I want for Christmas is a puppy. A puppy has been one of the most requested items from children since Santa starting bringing gifts. Buying a dog as holiday gift is the wrong way to go about getting a puppy. Purchasing a dog is an emotional experience that has long-term responsibilities. To many people buy a dog this time of the year and realize they made a mistake. Now with no alternative they wind up putting the puppy in the shelter and in some extreme cases turning the puppy out into the street.
Buying a puppy is an emotional purchase that should take a large amount of time and consideration on the part of the entire family. It is a lifetime commitment. Dogs like humans have personalities, emotions and behaviors that need to be taken into consideration when looking to add a furry family addition. Your family needs to find the right animal that fits within the family dynamic.
Research should be done to find the right breed, size and temperament for your family. Do not get a dog just because it looks cute, furry or the price is right.. The whole family should spend time playing and interacting with a potential new puppy to see if everybody gets along. I have had many dogs tell me that they did not want to come home with this family. It is a mutual decision when getting a new furry family member. Not only will you pick the puppy but also the puppy will pick you.
Here are some other issues to consider when purchasing a puppy especially this time of the year.
Is the whole family ready to take on the responsibility of a puppy in the dead of winter? This time of the year is the wrong time to bring a puppy into any household. The days are shorter which means it is colder out at night. Do you want to be walking a puppy on some of the coldest nights’ of the year? Do you want to be walking a puppy waiting for it to do its business in the middle of a snowstorm or ice storm?
Puppies need to mark the same spots in order to start to outside training. It is extremely difficult when we are in the middle of snowstorms to get puppies to recognize their spots because the snow is either melting or it is accumulating. Are you going to have the patience and tenancy to work with a puppy under these weather conditions?
Are you ready for little to no sleep? A puppy is just like a new baby it will cry for awhile because it misses it’s litter. The litter provides comfort, safety and warmth without the litter the puppy will feel lost or abandon. It will take some time getting your new puppy acclimated into it’s new home. Make sure when you bring home your new baby you have many blankets, we wee pads and a heating pad to make a comfortable safe bed.
The timing for gifting a puppy is wrong. On Christmas day there are so many distractions that many puppies have told me they feel so scared and overwhelmed. This is because they are over shadowed by the day and sometimes the chaos creates anxiety problems. When a new puppy arrives in your home there should be calm time set aside so that everybody can get acclimated.
It is that time of the year and you just spent a fortune for the holidays and possible maxed out your credit cards. Are you ready for the dog bills? Some of your expenses will include veterinarian appointments for shots and neutering. The groomer for coat and nail maintenance. Going regularly to the pet store for puppy food, supplements, toys, treats, bones and doggie clothing.
As an animal communicator and a rescue advocate I encourage every parent not to buy a puppy for their children as a Christmas gift. Instead put a STUFF PUPPY under the Christmas tree with an attached note saying “I owe you a puppy.” Wait until spring when the weather is better and many new litters are available.
Having two furry children is one of my greatest joys. They bring much happiness, love and laughter into my life. My hope is that when the time comes for you to bring home your new family addition you have selected a puppy that fits in with your family to bring you love. I pray that the puppy you have selected has also selected you so all of you can be a united happy family.