The end of the year is approaching in a haze of gift wrapping and holiday merriment. Puppies in Santa hats gaze out at us from Christmas cards, and many people are inspired to leave a puppy of their own under the tree. But before you rush out, there are some important issues that need to be considered:
Pet ownership should never come as a surprise. It is so tempting to surprise someone with a dog. Who wouldn’t want to see the delight in their loved one’s eyes as they meet their new best friend for the first time? But if the high numbers of animals abandoned in the months after Christmas are any indication, it is best to resist this impulse and thoroughly discuss the realities of pet ownership with your intended recipient before bringing home a puppy that they may not want or able to care for.
Not just for the holidays. It should go without saying, but owning a dog is a big responsibility. Puppies grow up quickly and the novelty of a new pet will not last for long. Don’t forget to take into account the financial impacts of paying for food, toys, vet bills, training and kenneling, and make sure that you are committed to caring for a dog for life and not just for the holidays.
Who is left holding the baby? Have a plan in place to settle in your new addition among the holiday madness. Consider whether your property will be secure or if guests are likely to leave doors and gates open for a dog to escape through. See if you can provide your pet with a quiet place that they can retreat to when the new sights and sounds become a bit too much. If you think you will struggle to find time to settle your dog into their new environment or if you are planning to go away over the holidays, you are probably better off waiting until things have quieted down to bring a dog into your home.
“…if you are planning to go away over the holidays, you are probably better off waiting until things have quieted down to bring a dog into your home.”
Don’t go out with a bang. Make sure your home will be well secured to prevent your pet from running away, as many dogs are frightened by the sound of fireworks. And don’t plan on a night out—you are going to need to be close by to reassure your pooch as they welcome in the new year.
A gift for the both of you. If you are still intent on bringing home a dog before New Year’s, make your gift do double duty by doing something wonderful for your new friend as well. By bypassing the breeders and adopting from a shelter instead, you can give an abandoned dog the best present imaginable: a second chance.
If you enjoyed this post, you should read 7 Reasons To Adopt here.
Are you considering adopting before 2018? Share your thoughts below!