Christmas is a time of loving and giving, but too many people combine the two. They give “puppy love.” They buy a puppy as a stocking stuffer to delight their children on Christmas morning. Often, too little thought goes into the selection of a puppy that will presumably be part of their family life for years to come.
Ask yourself the following questions before purchasing a puppy as a Christmas gift. Do you realize this puppy will grow into a dog? Are you buying a cute ball of fluff or are you familiar with the breed you have chosen? A large number of puppies are purchased with little or no idea of what to expect when the dog reaches maturity. Do not let the local shelter receive a Christmas gift in July, when the dog has left his cute and cuddly stage far behind, and become a leggy, destructive adolescent.
Will you have the time and means to care for him throughout his lifetime? Will you feed him regularly and groom him as required? Can you afford to own a dog? Remember that you are not just buying a puppy, but all the responsibilities: food; medical attention; fenced yard; training; grooming; spaying or neutering; and the list goes on! These are all serious commitments and not the ideal way to teach a child responsibility.
If you are determined to purchase a puppy at Christmas time, consult a reputable breeder well in advance. A breeder who has the puppy’s and your best interest at heart will encourage you to delay bringing the pup home until after the holidays.
Then, the puppy will get the time and attention it requires, and daily routines will be back to normal. Why not wrap a photo, his pedigree, or a book about puppies and place that under the tree? After the confusion of Christmas Day has passed, bring the puppy home.
This will assure that your family and your new pet will get a good start toward a long and happy life together.
Merry Christmas to you and your four-legged friends from Crocus Obedience & Kennel Club.
Sally Spiss, president
Crocus Obedience & Kennel Club
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 20, 2013