Sometimes I step outside the beauty arena to talk about subjects that are close to my heart, one of them – you guessed it – is dogs! Dogs Trust will be starting their Christmas campaign soon encouraging people not to buy puppies for Christmas, #adogisforlife. Obviously, I’m 100% behind this – Christmas is literally the worst time to take puppy ownership on board, so if it’s a thought that’s starting to creep into your head, put it away!
There are several practical reasons for not buying puppies in December – one of which, as a November puppy owner (back in the day) is that when it comes to house training, nobody wants to be standing in the snow or sleet trying to teach a shivering puppy to pee outside. Believe me, it is a million times easier to house train a dog in the summer.
Next up, Christmas is super stressful – let’s put away the John Lewis heart warming ads and remember that if you have children this is the day that starts in the middle of the night and gradually grinds down to a cry heaping by 4pm (if not the children, then you). It’s not an environment to place a bewildered puppy into, no matter how happy you think it’s going to make the day.
Puppies don’t react well to noise and excitement – Christmas means absolutely nothing to them and if the puppy is the main event, that’s an awful lot of pressure on a little dog that has literally no clue that the joy of the day is entirely dependent upon them. Chances are your newbie will want to find a quiet spot and be no ‘fun’ at all.
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Dogs Trust – and literally all the other animal charities – inevitably end up with hundreds of unwanted dogs and puppies after Christmas because for all the reasons above and more, and when people finally work out they’re not a toy, it’s all too much to cope with. Puppies are very demanding; they want to explore, they need to be fed, toileted, taught what’s okay and what’s not okay and take up a lot of time. If you don’t have the time, don’t take the puppy, simple as.
I guess what I’m getting around to saying is that the time you spend with your puppy or rescue dog at the very beginning is crucial; it’s where the bonding begins and also the training and if you want a dog that fits beautifully and seamlessly into your family then you have to focus hard on these things from day 1. It’s unlikely that Christmas, for most of us, would be that time. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tug on your heartstrings with this message, but if you can take a moment to see beyond the fantasy and look to the reality which invariably is a tiny thing, with no idea how to fit into your family, no concept of expectations and no idea how to please you, it’s a no-brainer that there are other times of the year that would better suit you all.
So, if you see, as you undoubtedly will, the #adogisforlife hashtag, please do give it a retweet, create a picture on Instagram (who doesn’t love a puppy pic?!) or pop a message on your Facebook to remind everyone that a Furbie is probably better at this time of year. Although, I do remember that being a bit of a pain as well……
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