12/04/2013

No Puppies for Christmas

Their eyes melt your heart. That puppy breath, squirming warm little bodies just begging for you to take them home. Little Fido makes the perfect gift--right? WRONG!  Christmas is one of the worst times to get a puppy and shelters experience buyer's remorse with an increase in returns during the holidays.  Reputable breeders won't have puppies available for Christmas, but pet stores and puppy mills will. If you're willing to plop down a few hundred or more for this four-footed gift, you'll want a healthy and happy dog, not a sickly one or one that may have major health issues.



Here are reasons why you shouldn't surprise the kids or your beloved with a puppy, kitten, or other animal during the holidays. 

1.  It's Christmas and it's crazy.  Everyone is hyped up and the routine is askew. A puppy added to all the packages under the tree will find himself buried in paper and dragged around the house amid the chaos of Christmas morning. Not a good introduction to your family.

2. Puppies are a LOT of WORK!  How happy will you be when that poor, scared puppy piddles and poops on the presents, the carpet, and Aunt Madge's purse? Bringing a puppy into your home means planning ahead of time. The right equipment and environment need to be ready for a baby dog or an adult dog for that matter. Even a house trained adult dog will be over-stressed in the excitement.

3.  Puppy purchases at Christmas tend to be impulse buys and we all know what happens to some of our other impulse buys. They're relegated to the next yard sale, returned to the store, or tossed out. A companion animal deserves more than a passing fancy. And lest you think that a family member or girlfriend will be thrilled with such a thoughtful gift--think again. Bringing a dog into someone else's home is rather presumptuous, no matter how close you are.

So what if you've promised the kids a puppy for Christmas? There is a right way to do it and it's not putting him in a stocking just before the kids get up.  Here are some things you can do on Christmas morning without involving that lovely little furball in the excitement.

1.  Work with a reputable breeder or shelter to RESERVE a puppy for pick up after the holidays. They will be happy to do so. Be prepared to pay at least a deposit if not the entire price.

2.  Purchase the puppy equipment for under the tree.  This includes a crate, leash, collar, food and water bowls. Put the bow on the crate and not the puppy.

3.  Put a photo of the puppy in the stockings or in the crate. Explain that you have a special date already set to get him or her AFTER New Year's.  That will be enough, believe me.

There's nothing like a dog. They enrich our lives, and are loyal friends. I'm not sure how life would be without one, but like all good things, timing is everything.

For more on choosing a puppy or the right breed, see my previous posts. Links are below.

Which Breed?

Pick of the Litter - Choosing a Puppy

If you love a good mystery with dogs running through it, get your copy of Family Matters.  Only 99 cents on Kindle this month at Amazon.  Also available in paperback.

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Positively encouraging

12/04/2013

No Puppies for Christmas

Their eyes melt your heart. That puppy breath, squirming warm little bodies just begging for you to take them home. Little Fido makes the perfect gift--right? WRONG!  Christmas is one of the worst times to get a puppy and shelters experience buyer's remorse with an increase in returns during the holidays.  Reputable breeders won't have puppies available for Christmas, but pet stores and puppy mills will. If you're willing to plop down a few hundred or more for this four-footed gift, you'll want a healthy and happy dog, not a sickly one or one that may have major health issues.



Here are reasons why you shouldn't surprise the kids or your beloved with a puppy, kitten, or other animal during the holidays. 

1.  It's Christmas and it's crazy.  Everyone is hyped up and the routine is askew. A puppy added to all the packages under the tree will find himself buried in paper and dragged around the house amid the chaos of Christmas morning. Not a good introduction to your family.

2. Puppies are a LOT of WORK!  How happy will you be when that poor, scared puppy piddles and poops on the presents, the carpet, and Aunt Madge's purse? Bringing a puppy into your home means planning ahead of time. The right equipment and environment need to be ready for a baby dog or an adult dog for that matter. Even a house trained adult dog will be over-stressed in the excitement.

3.  Puppy purchases at Christmas tend to be impulse buys and we all know what happens to some of our other impulse buys. They're relegated to the next yard sale, returned to the store, or tossed out. A companion animal deserves more than a passing fancy. And lest you think that a family member or girlfriend will be thrilled with such a thoughtful gift--think again. Bringing a dog into someone else's home is rather presumptuous, no matter how close you are.

So what if you've promised the kids a puppy for Christmas? There is a right way to do it and it's not putting him in a stocking just before the kids get up.  Here are some things you can do on Christmas morning without involving that lovely little furball in the excitement.

1.  Work with a reputable breeder or shelter to RESERVE a puppy for pick up after the holidays. They will be happy to do so. Be prepared to pay at least a deposit if not the entire price.

2.  Purchase the puppy equipment for under the tree.  This includes a crate, leash, collar, food and water bowls. Put the bow on the crate and not the puppy.

3.  Put a photo of the puppy in the stockings or in the crate. Explain that you have a special date already set to get him or her AFTER New Year's.  That will be enough, believe me.

There's nothing like a dog. They enrich our lives, and are loyal friends. I'm not sure how life would be without one, but like all good things, timing is everything.

For more on choosing a puppy or the right breed, see my previous posts. Links are below.

Which Breed?

Pick of the Litter - Choosing a Puppy

If you love a good mystery with dogs running through it, get your copy of Family Matters.  Only 99 cents on Kindle this month at Amazon.  Also available in paperback.

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