Thinking about getting a dog for Christmas? Here’s some important things to consider.
Despite the yearly campaigns about not buying dogs as a Christmas gift, it still happens and probably always will. Whilst some will argue to adopt before shopping, it is the individual's choice whether to do so, and providing the pup is purchased from a reputable breeder it all comes down to personal preference.
For me, I’m pro adoption and own a rescue dog of my own. This doesn’t mean I’m anti breeder though so here’s some things to consider when getting a dog whether you chose to adopt or shop.
- Have you discussed gifting a dog with the recipient?
- Can they afford a dog?
- Who will be responsible for it if it’s a gift for a child?
- Are they prepared to work on its socialisation and training?
- Are they prepared to look after it, no matter what for its entire life?
- Have you researched the breed to make sure it is compatible with your lifestyle?
A lot of people think that a puppy is a blank canvas and you play a part in how it turns out. While for the most part this is true with good training, there are a lot of other things to take into consideration, genetics and breed traits for example.
If you’re wanting a cute little dog which requires little exercise and to sit outside cafes while people gush over it, I probably wouldn’t go for a working breed such as a spaniel. They have bags of energy and thrive when doing a job and would be more suited to someone who has an active lifestyle and would prefer to do activities for them such as scent work or agility.
There’s plenty of websites where you can complete a questionnaire that will help narrow down the breed most suitable for your family.
Did you know puppies become available at rescue centres too?
It’s not uncommon for a stray to come into rescue pregnant or puppies to be rescued from dreadful puppy mill conditions so don’t discount a rescue because you want a young pup.
Have you considered a senior dog?
Maybe you’re elderly and would like a companion dog that just wants a quiet home to see out their retirement?
These are the dogs that pull on my heartstrings every time. Often overlooked because people want a young dog, spending months or even years in a kennel waiting for someone to pick them.
They often find themselves in the kennel for no fault of their own. Here are some of the reasons why older dogs end up in rescue.
- Their owner has died
- Owners have children and have less time for their dog
- The dog has not been happy with a certain situation and has shown its teeth or snapped and the owner thinks it’s dangerous
- It has a medical condition that the owners are unable to cope with
If you decide to adopt or shop at Christmas time, make sure you think it through and that it’s 100% the right time and fit for your lifestyle. After all, as the saying goes – a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.