A Puppy for Christmas? Why it's a Bad Idea A Puppy for Christmas? Why it's a Bad Idea

Christmas is a time of showing love to those close to us. It's a season of giving and sharing. Many people feel that giving a puppy for Christmas gift is a good idea. They provide love, loyalty and companionship. They're a cuddly ball of fur that will bring a sparkle to the eyes of their owner.

A puppy is a good companion and the elderly, it's true. However, giving a puppy as a Christmas gift is not a good idea. Here's why:

It is difficult to know what breed of puppy someone outside of your family would want. A puppy is a personal choice because you want the dog to be a perfect companion for the person you are giving it to. You may love a little ball of fur that will give puppy kisses and enjoy being cuddles, but possibly the person on your Christmas list has no desire to have a puppy, or possibly they have a preference in breed. You might buy them a lap dog when what they want is a Chow or an Alaskan malamute.

Puppies are a lot of responsibility. They have to be house trained and walked daily. They have to be fed and taken to the vet's for regular checkups. Vet bills are very expensive. Possibly the person doesn't have the financial means to assure the puppy is well taken care of. Also, some breeds have to be groomed frequently and if the person is unable to do it themselves, they have to be taken to a groomer, which causes more expense.

During the holidays, homes are turned into a place of hustle and bustle. Strangers to the puppy are coming and going constantly. Children are excited. All of this excitement can cause a puppy to act inappropriately. It may urinate on the carpet or chew things he shouldn't. He may jump on visitors and nip children who handle him too roughly.

Sometimes a puppy can be inadvertently killed because someone feels they are being kind to him by sharing holiday treats such as chocolate, ham or nuts. These things can poison puppies. Puppies should never be fed anything but puppy chow.

Other risks include swallowing "popcorn" packing that comes in gifts. Ribbon, wrapping paper and the thin, foil decorations that we call icicles can be fatal if swallowed. Electrical cords may be chewed and cause shock or death. Puppies can be cut if they take glass decorations off the tree to play with.

Puppies left alone for extended periods of time during the holidays can get into all kinds of mischief. They can pull garland and decorations off the tree. Larger puppies can even pull the tree over and destroy it. Furniture and other household items can be destroyed. Poinsettias are poisonous and can be fatal if eaten or chewed by a puppy. The dangers in a household are many to a young dog.

Every year when the holidays are over, animal shelters are deluged by an influx of puppies that have been given as surprise gifts over the holidays. By this time the people are tired of their new responsibility and are only looking to rid themselves of the nuisance. Many of these puppies never find good homes. Instead, they end up being put down because there is not enough funding to keep them in the shelter.

Give a puppy for Christmas - never! Instead, wait until after the holidays and discuss with the person whether or not a puppy is truly wanted. If so, take the person to a breeder or the animal shelter and allow them to pick out their own puppy. You can pay for it and the puppy will be the perfect pet and companion for the new owner. The two will form a close bond of friendship and enjoy many happy years together.

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