Last year, around Christmastime the video below became very popular. The video depicts people receiving a puppy for Christmas, many of them reduced to tears of joy. So is getting a present of a puppy for Christmas the best present you can get ? There was quite a debate from both sides saying whether it was good idea to give pets as Christmas gifts.
Receiving the gift of a puppy
You may recall the motto ‘a puppy is for life, not just for Christmas’, and most, if not all, animal welfare organisations try to deter people from giving puppies as Christmas presents.
It’s always better to base these claims on facts, and in light of a new study last year by the ASPCA (American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) it says that yes indeed it’s okay to give puppies as gifts at Christmas . The report says that a staggering 96% of people who received pets as gifts at Christmas reported it either increased or had no impact on their love or attachment to that pet. The report continued saying that 86% of these Christmas time pets were still at home, and this number is in line with animals purchased at any other time of the year.
Preparation for your dog is important
If your child is excited about getting a puppy, it’s important to prepare them for the responsibility and care that comes with it. Here are some tips to help your child prepare for a new puppy:
- Talk to your child about the responsibilities of caring for a puppy, such as feeding, watering, and taking them for walks. Explain that a puppy is a big commitment and will require daily care and attention.
- Help your child understand that puppies can be messy and may have accidents in the house. Talk about the importance of cleaning up after the puppy and being patient with any mistakes they make.
- Plan out a schedule for feeding, exercise, and potty breaks. Encourage your child to help with these tasks and make sure they understand the importance of consistency.
- Talk to your child about the importance of being gentle with the puppy and not pulling on their tail or ears. Show them how to properly handle and play with the puppy.
- Consider getting your child involved in the puppy selection process. This can help them feel more invested in the new addition to the family and give them a chance to think about what they want in a puppy.
Overall, the key is to help your child understand that a puppy is a big responsibility and that they need to be prepared to care for it. By involving them in the process and setting clear expectations, you can help your child be ready for the arrival of their new furry friend.
We encourage families to read our free 100 page book at www.dogs.ie/book/ together with children.
Where to get your next dog
We at dogs.ie always encourage you to source your next pet from responsible breeders and sources. This could be a hobby breeder, registered sellers of pets, dog breeding establishments, rescues, shelters and charities. Education for taking care of your pet properly and making sure you have the right facilities for your puppy are two of the most important things to consider when thinking about a new dog. From the stories we’ve heard it’s generally families with young kids (under 5) who have particular issues with new puppies.