It's that time of year again. Santa is getting his reindeer ready and we're bursting at the brims with holiday cheer. For many of us, that will mean waking up Christmas morning to find a bundle of furry joy beneath our tree. But is a new puppy for Christmas a good idea? Chances are, you should think twice before letting Santa bring Fido down your chimney, and here's why:
Puppy's should be a family decision.
Getting a new puppy (or kitten) should never be something that is a surprise. Your family should be prepped and understand what a new pet means. There needs to be discussions on who's responsibility it is to take care of the pet. Who's walking them in the morning? Who's feeding them? Who's responsible for their vet care?
It may be tempting to bring home that cute lab puppy, but are you prepared to pay for the medical and food expenses that come with it? It will need yearly vaccines, heartworm preventative, medical attention if it becomes sick. These are financial considerations that should be thought of and considered in length before adding a new member to the household.
Puppy's that are available for Christmas may be irresponsibly bred.
Dogs don't only produce puppies during the holiday season, they may have a litter at any time of the year. That being said, many puppies are coming from situations where they are being purposely born around this time in order to make a quick profit from holiday puppy buyers. While you should always check the legitimacy of where you purchase a pet from, it is even more critical during this time to make sure that your pet is coming from a location that was ethical in its breeding. Also watch out for breeders who will let puppies go too young in order to "have them ready in time for Christmas." A good breeder will never let a puppy leave their care younger than 6 weeks, and in many cases, will keep them even longer than that!
If you are still considering getting a pet for Christmas, consider visiting your local shelter. Here's some reasons why getting a rescued pet will make your Christmas even better:
1. You'll be giving a dog another chance:
Every year, 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized simply because there are too many in shelters. Getting a shelter pet could end up giving your family and your new friend the best present you could think of.
2. You'll save money:
Shelters usually send their animals off into the world with a good set of vaccinations under their belt, some heartworm preventative, and are already spayed and neutered. Typically, the adoption fee is cheaper than the cost of a new puppy alone.
3. You could get an awesome pet:
While they may not come with papers, adoption centers may have pure bred dogs as well as mixed breeds. If you had your heart set on a certain breed, it's worth checking in with them- you would be surprised!
Many dogs that come from shelters are already housebroken and have some basic obedience, which is one less thing you would have to check. In addition, they usually have had a full examination and are checked for serious health issues that breeders may not know to look for.
Christmas is the time of giving.
And while it's tempting to bring home a cute bundle of joy to spread holiday cheer, it is important to consider everything that comes along with adding a new pet to your home. If you're sure it is the right time to get a puppy, consider adopting from your local shelter or rescues. Because Christmas doesn't last long, but a new pet will.