A puppy for Christmas is the best gift to give – but only for those who are ready for one. Whether you are buying a pup for your whole family or for one of your kids, the prep stages beforehand are key. You can still keep the puppy a surprise – but tell your family it will be the next year before they can expect one.
You can then prep everyone in your family and make sure you have the budget to care for a new pet and still have a wonderful Christmas. The reason why this preparation is so vital is because, far too often, when a puppy is a Christmas present, it ends up being given away by January.
In the UK, a study found that after Christmas, almost 4000 puppies are abandoned and that 20% of dog purchases were because the owner thought they would make a cute accessory. In the United States, approximately 7.6 million dogs and cats are abandoned or found by animal control and sent to animal centers every single year.
Before getting a puppy, preparation and research are necessary. You need to choose the right breed for your family, get your kids ready to take shared responsibility, and so much more:
Research The Breed of Dog Carefully
Not every breed is suitable. Some dogs require a lot of exercise and discipline and should only be purchased by experienced owners who love the outdoors.
Don’t assume you know what a dog needs just by looking at it, either. West Highland White Terriers are small and cute, but they are far from a traditional lap dog and need a working dog’s level of exercise and discipline.
For first-time dog-owning families, try to stick with family-friendly breeds that are:
- Sociable with dogs and people
- Smart and easy to train
- Don’t require a lot of exercise
White lab puppies, therefore, make the ideal first dog for any owner and are especially great with families. They will still need regular walks, but unlike more working breeds, these walks won’t have to be hours long or be done twice a day. An hour-long walk or an hour’s worth of exercise per day is often more than enough for them and is easy to provide when split between the family.
Save In Advance
There are so many things that you will need to save for in advance. These include:
- The cost of the dog
- The cost of dog accessories (bed, toys, leashes, etc.)
- The cost of dog food
- The cost of vet checkups, vaccination shots, etc.
- The cost of puppy training
There are ways you can reduce these costs, of course. From investing in puppy health insurance or similar plans, you can spread out the cost of healthcare checkups and even help reduce high costs in the case your dog gets ill in the future. When you save in advance, you can also buy in advance, so you can enjoy huge discounts on necessities on sale days – just keep them secret from your kids!
Find a Responsible Breeder
Now that you have saved and chosen the perfect breed for your family, the only thing left is to find a breeder and select your puppy. For the sake of all future dogs, please make sure that the breeder in question is responsible and that they put the welfare of their dogs above all else. This way, you can bring home a beautiful, healthy new addition to your family with a clear conscious.