Consider your options
When considering buying a dog for Christmas, there are multiple options you can choose. Traditionally, people want a puppy and often find people selling them all over the country. However, this is not the only choice. There are rescue dogs across the country who could use a loving home for the festive season and longer. You could find a dog which is potentially already trained, meaning that less time has to be spent worrying about finding mess or teaching it how to go to the toilet outside. Many dogs available can be paired with you – if you are looking for a dog with a calmer personality who will likely want to rest most of the day, then an older dog might be more your style.
Always meet the dog in their home before buying
If you do decide to buy a dog, or a puppy, from an independent seller then you should always make sure to meet the puppy in its home environment. This not only gives you a chance to potentially see how the dog reacts around other animal, but it will let you see the conditions it has grown up in so far. This will also give you the chance to meet the puppy’s parents, giving you a likely idea of the temperament of your dog as they get older – as well as an understanding around the pedigree of your dog. Making sure you know where your new dog comes from is important for the health and care of the dog. If something feels off when meeting the breeder, or if they ask to meet somewhere other than the house, then you might want to consider reporting this.
Consider the time and energy required
Another consideration, and one which many people fail to realise properly, is the time and energy commitments a new pet can have on a family. If you are gifting a puppy to your children, for example, you will want to consider who will look after the pet most of the time and whether they have the capacity to do this. If your children are young, you will likely provide most of the care, so make sure your jobs don’t interfere with the dog’s needs.
Whereas, if you have teenagers, they may be more capable of looking after the dog, but they might consider leaving home within a few years. A dog is a long-term commitment with most breeds living upwards of 10 years.
Many breeds need different levels of input too. Dog breeds, such as cocker spaniels, are energetic and need walks more regularly than dog breeds such as French bulldogs. Depending on the time you have available, and your own mobility, certain breeds might be a better fit. However, if you do want a specific breed but you are unsure whether you can provide enough exercise and training, then hiring a professional with dog walkers insurance and training expertise could help maintain the health and well-being of your pup.
Owning a pet is costly
Lastly, you need to consider the financial burden that owning a puppy, or dog, will have on you. Not only can they be expensive to buy at the start, but they are another addition to the family and therefore costs mount up quickly. On average, it costs £1,875 a year to own a dog. Costs can add up from the food, boarding, insurance, vet bills, and even the Christmas presents you might but your pet in the coming year. With the cost-of-living crisis making it difficult for most families to keep their houses warm, it might not be the best time to invest in a dog.
Making sure you have the time and means to care for a dog is important when considering whether you buy one for Christmas. Although a puppy, wrapped in a bow, under the Christmas tree might be a cute idea, it might not be the most practical. And with the increase in returns Dogs Trust sees during the January period, their concern is understandable when people’s interest is peaked. However, if you have thought through all the demands a new dog or puppy would have, then they make great additions to your family for the festive season and beyond!