While the festive period is a time for happiness and celebration, spending time with friends and family, and the giving and receiving of gifts, some dogs don’t get to experience this for very long. In the weeks following Christmas, the number of people abandoning dogs because they purchased a puppy on a whim, they can’t cope with a dog, or the dog wasn’t what they expected reached record levels last year.
Should you get a dog at Christmas?
Whilst sometimes introducing a dog into your family during a period when you have time off work can be successful, Christmas is unlikely to be it. Introducing your new family member can be overwhelming for them at the best of times as they take time to get used to, and settle into, their new home. The festive period is usually far from settled with celebrations and the disruption of day-to-day routines having the potential to only add to the stress that moving to a new environment brings. These are some of the reasons that Dogs Trust are urging people to stop ‘impulsively purchasing puppies as Christmas presents’.
Things you should know before getting a new pet
As a nation of animal lovers, sometimes the excitement of getting a new pet can prevent us from looking at the practical side. So, here are just a few things to consider when thinking about getting a pet:
- Financial obligations – pets can be expensive, so it’s important to factor in pet insurance and all of their essentials such as food and vets bills.
- Time – some pets need more attention than others and it is essential to make sure you can offer what your potential pet needs both practically and emotionally. For example, if you work full time, a dog might not be the right pet for you as you’ll need to think about how long it will be left for on its own for and whether you’ll have time to give it all the exercise it needs.
- Don’t rush into it – taking on a new pet isn’t something that should be done impulsively. Take the time to do some research to check they’re the right pet for you. For example, look into different dog breeds to see which would best suit your lifestyle and environment.