So, you want to buy a puppy for Christmas…

Maybe pester power has finally gotten to you. Or maybe you’re just feeling lonely and fancy having a cute, fluffy little canine friend to keep you company over the festive period? These are not good reasons to buy a Christmas puppy. In fact, you may be surprised how many people each year dump their small furballs at the nearest rescue centre before you can say Twelfth Night.
Even if you don’t see yourself as a ‘whim’ puppy purchaser you’re still heading for potential disaster if you buy a puppy now – here’s why.

Don’t be a Christmas victim

For starters, puppy farmers are opportunists who deliberately breed thousands of puppies specifically for this time of year. They know emotions run high and willpower runs low and pray on the vulnerable, the weak-willed, and the gullible.
The other really important thing to understand about puppies and Christmas is that high welfare dog breeders NEVER breed puppies for this time of year. Never. Ever.

So, if you buy a puppy now, it will have originated from a low-welfare breeding establishment such as a puppy farm or an equally opportunistic back street breeder. Or you’ll be handing your cash over to a dealer who is a front for a puppy farmer. Your puppy will not have had a good start to life and the parents of your puppy are probably languishing in a cold, damp, dark outbuilding hundreds of miles away, hungry, in pain and terrified. If that isn’t enough to stop you in your tracks, maybe this will.
You risk taking home a Christmas puppy that’s sick. A puppy that could cost you thousands of pounds in vet’s bills. A puppy that could die and still leave you with thousands of pounds in vets bills. Not a very festive thought is it?

There is another way

Did you know that rehoming centres have puppies? Many rescue centres have them right now. Other rescues will have puppies flooding in just after Christmas. These will be the unwanted Christmas ‘gift’ puppies purchased by people who bought into the dream of irresistible fluffy cuteness but are quickly left cold by the reality of needle-sharp teeth, chewed shoes, munched cables, smelly poop, wee, sleepless nights and all the other realities of puppyhood.

If you’re still determined to have a puppy, you’ll be spoiled for choice at rescue centres across the UK. And instead of forking out cash to a chancer, you’ll get a pup for a fraction of the cost that’s been assessed, health checked, flea treated, wormed and microchipped. Best of all, you won’t risk being an accessory to animal cruelty.

Are you ready for this?

Puppies are cute but they can be little devils. Maybe it’s worth thinking about whether your life and lifestyle would be better suited to a dog that is already past the puppy stage? Already house-trained. Maybe slightly older and calmer. One way to find out is to try fostering a dog first. Experience what it takes to look after a dog before you dive in to getting a puppy. Discovering that you’re not actually ready yet for full-time commitment to a dog is nothing to be ashamed of. Being selfless is what being a true dog lover is all about.

Find out more about why fostering is a lifeline for pets. Discover how it could also be the best way to satisfy your urge for canine companionship while protecting you from becoming a victim of the cruel Christmas puppy trade by visiting our website.

This is a guest essay by Linda Goodman, Founder of C.A.R.I.A.D. (Care And Respect Includes All Dogs). Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk.

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