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Pets advice for Christmas

Puppies Are Always Tempting Presents…

While the image of children coming down the stairs on Christmas morning to find a puppy, complete with a Christmas bow is magical, the reality is it’s one of the worst times to introduce a puppy into the home. Even if the children have been begging for months for “Santa Paws” to make their wish come true, now is the time to be a responsible parent and responsible pet owner and decide against it.

Why not wrap up a dog bed, or toys, or puppy/dog training book for the kids and tell them that after the new year or in spring they can get a puppy. It can give them the surprise of getting a dog and the time to read up on what to expect and how to help the puppy settle in.

Xmas Puppies – Things to Note

The first few weeks of a puppy’s life in his new home are crucial to his socialisation and training.

These weeks are the building blocks to ensure that you have a well mannered and happy puppy. You are the builder. If you’re busy cooking and entertaining friends and family, who’s going to put blocks together? Can you realistically keep on top of toilet training and making sure puppy and the children are all playing together appropriately? Or that the puppy isn’t tangled up the Christmas tree or chewing cables or the children?

Puppies need a lot of time and attention and routine to help them settle in. At Christmas our routines are often different and spare time is hard found. Toilet training isn’t that pleasant either when the weather’s cold and dark and you’re out shivering every hour encouraging your new furry bundle to empty. Quite often many well meaning owners find themselves overwhelmed with the holiday chaos and realise they’ve made a mistake, and the puppy gets surrendered to a shelter in January or February.

Protect Yourself and the Puppy

Most reputable breeders and rescue centers won’t rehome animals before or during the Christmas period. Be wary of any breeder that advertises puppies ready for Christmas. These pups are usually breed purely for monetary gain and their health and welfare are not high on the breeders agenda. The puppies may be too young to be away from their mother, ill, may not have had any early socialisation, parents not screened for any genetic diseases. The list goes on and on. Quite often all you’re doing is lining the breeders pocket and setting yourself up for heartbreak.

When you go to look at a puppy make sure you get to see the mother and see where the puppy is being kept. Be wary of offers to meet you half way or in car parks etc. Any good breeder will welcome you into their home and answer as many questions as you like. Observe the pups in their surroundings. They should be bright, active and inquisitive and happy to be handled. Don’t pick the first puppy you see. The phrase “Dogs are for life, not just for Christmas” is very true. It’s very easy to pick from your heart, but that small cute bundle will grow up very quickly and you need to know what he’s going to grow into. You could have your furry companion for 10-15years! Your choice of breed and it’s associated characteristics must fit in with your lifestyle.

Any of our staff will be happy to help you in any questions you have selecting a puppy and support you through his growing years.