It may seem as familiar as the nativity at Christmas, but it’s time for a reminder about puppies and Christmas. Don’t buy a puppy as a Christmas present. Apart from anything else, Christmas is far too busy a time for most of us to devote the necessary attention to a new dog. The comings and goings will make it impossible for them to bond with their new pack and settle into a new home.
Plus do you really want to try sitting down to a Christmas meal constantly interrupted by taking the pup for toilet breaks, or cleaning up mistakes inside the house? It’s just the wrong time for a new puppy, but don’t take my word for it, CAPS put it much better:
Puppies for the Holidays are a Very Bad Idea
The Companion Animal Protection Society Explains Why the Holiday Gift of a Pet is actually no Gift at All
A puppy under the tree with a big red bow around its neck seems like the perfect image for many families; but Deborah Howard, President of the Companion Animal Protection Society (The only national nonprofit dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals) warns that this only adds to the problem of shelters being filled with unwanted dogs.
Before you buy a puppy, Deborah Howard has created the following checklist to see if you are ready for the new member of the Family:
1. Did the companion animal you plan on bringing into your home come from a shelter, reputable breeder or from another location where you can trace its whereabouts
2. Have you prepped the entire family for the new member of the family?
3. Who will be responsible for the dog’s socialization?
4. Who will be accountable for the animals care? Feeding? Walking? House training?
5. Have you calculated the cost of raising your animal? Vet bills? Food? Toys?
Many breeders and pet stores are often motivated by money and the holiday craze. Such sellers are not likely to cut into profits with pesky screening for genetic diseases, nor are they likely to care about the importance of socialization. These attitudes may cost you in the long run, both in dollars and in heartbreak. The most important rule of thumb is to realize that puppies are not toys. They are living creatures that need a lot of attention and essentially should be regarded as a new member of the family.
“One should never purchase or adopt an animal as a present to be given during the holidays. There is too much excitement and stress during holidays for an animal that has to adjust and adapt to being in a new environment and home. Instead, give a gift card stating that there will be an animal after the holidays. Don’t expect children, even teens, to provide consistent care for this animal. The responsibility is going to be with the parents. Don’t ever buy a dog at a pet shop or online. Most of these puppies come from puppy mills – commercial breeding facilities that mass produce dogs for resale to pet shops or individuals. Potential animal guardians can make a difference by adopting an unwanted animal from a shelter or rescue organization. Most shelters and rescue organizations are listed on www.petfinder.com. ” – Deborah Howard
The Companion Animal Protection Society is the only national nonprofit dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals, CAPS' foremost concern is the abuse and suffering of pet shop and puppy mill dogs. Founded in 1992, CAPS actively addresses this issue through investigations, education, media relations, legislative involvement, puppy mill dog rescues, consumer assistance, and pet shop employee relations. For more information please visit www.caps-web.org.
You can hear an interview with CAPS founder Deborah Howard in episode 57 of DoCast Radio.