I adore my two dogs, but believe me they are hard work. The phrase ‘A Pet’s for Life not just for Christmas’ is in common use these days and there’s a very good reason for that. All animal shelters show a significant increase in abandoned pets once the festive season’s over and reality kicks in. Most reputable breeders and animal shelters actually ban the sale/adoption of animals during December. Here are a few things to think about if you’re still considering going down the Pets for Christmas route.
The average life span for a dog is about twelve years, with some dogs living up to the ages of 18-20. That is a serious commitment. Don’t fall for the line that the kids will tend to your new pets every need. Believe me … they won’t. The novelty will soon wear off.
Everyone is proud of their Home, and it contents. There’s a very good chance that that gorgeous fluffy puppy is going to have little accidents on your carpets, and chew/scratch your furniture. Our new German Shepherd puppy had great fun chewing through 4 dining room chairs. She had only been on her own for 10 minutes.
If you’re proud of your Garden or lawn, you’ll have to train them to use a certain area as their toilet, and they love to dig Holes and bury things in your garden whether it’s their favourite toy or old bone.
Your new addition will be shedding fur whether it’s long or short hair, so extra cleaning is required, even if you encourage them to sleep in one area in particular. I am allergic to dog hair, so heaven knows what i was thinking, I even fuss the dogs wearing gloves.
Always attend puppy training classes to teach them how to walk on the lead and life skills. Always research a reputable trainer.
Dogs need Walking all year round, whatever the weather. Even at Christmas and when you go back to work, you’ll need to allow extra time in a morning to walk your dog and settle in for the day. Our dogs need walking twice a day and believe me they never tire … ever. Arranging a dog walker is also a good idea if you are unable to get back from work.
Buying of the dog is only the beginning of the Expense; it can cost between £21,000 to £33,000 during its lifetime, that’s without Vet’s fees, insurance and boarding fees if you go away on holiday. Insurance it’s worth considering 3rd party as the owner is completely responsible for the dog’s behavior when out in public.
Without a doubt Christmas is the worst time to introduce a new pet. It may have the ‘aah’ factor, but the poor animal will already be nervous and stressed about entering a new environment. Your new pet will need peace and quiet where it can be allowed to get used to its new surroundings and slowly get to know it’s new family members.
If you have considered all of this and prepared yourself, then you are indeed a worthy pet owner and will get many years of happiness from your new furry family member …….& finally if you can try and adopt from a Shelter whenever possible but remember they may have a history that you don’t know about if you’re introducing them to young children. The RSPCA offer some sound advice for prospective pet owners.