Christmas is the time of the year when puppy sales are at all-time high. It is one of the most common gifts that parents get their kids, who may or may not have pestered them all year around to get them one. Before impulse purchasing a puppy for under your Christmas tree, consider the following things and then decide if you’re ready for this commitment.
Know what you’re getting into
Many families fail to realize that getting a dog should be a progressive decision, not a surprise. A puppy or a grown dog needs a good amount of time to get it settled in a new house, especially around the holidays when it’s busier than usual. When a dog enters a family, it changes the environment around the house. It needs your attention and free time. Children may initially want to be the primary caregivers, but their puppy fever may wear off within few weeks or months, so the primary lifetime commitment you’re making is between you and the dog.
Research your options
If you and your family really want a dog, there are different viable options from which you can choose from. If you opt to go with a breeder, steer clear of puppy mills. Suppliers have to keep up with ever growing demand of puppies around this time of year and some ignore the proper breeding programs to do so. Unfortunately, these puppies are often inbred, poorly socialized, and more prone to genetic health problems like allergies, bad hips or to behavioral difficulties like compulsive barking or chewing. An experienced and ethical breeder will make sure that a dog won’t have these problems and will ask questions about you and what you need to determine the best match for you and your family.
You should also consider getting a dog from established shelter homes and rescue groups. It will not only save you from initial struggle of raising a puppy from a very young age but will also give a caring home to a dog who may not have been treated well in the past. The time and money you may have spent on getting and raising a puppy could be invested in caring and house breaking a dog from shelter homes. A rescue dog would not only give you a sense of fulfilment for saving a life but he will also be a grateful, loyal, and unconditionally loving companion.
Prepare your house
Once you’ve chosen your dog, make sure that they get proper care and attention when you bring them home. If you or your family are busy or your house is chaotic during the holidays, consider dog boarding or daycare facilities like Dogtopia. That will not only give them company and allow them to properly socialize with other dogs, but they will also experience as loving an environment as they get at your house.