A dog is for life, not just for Christmas!

A dog is for life, not just for Christmas!

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By now you’ve probably started working through your child’s Christmas list, but if a puppy is top of the list this year, please think very carefully. While a pet pooch can become a great part of any family, owners have a lot of responsibility, especially as dogs can live for 15 years or more. Dog ownership can also be expensive, with costs including food, insurance, toys, a collar with tag, a lead, and training classes as well as the cost of the dog.

If you’re determined to get a pet this Christmas, do your research first, ideally visiting a rescue centre with the potential new owner so they can decide which pet will be best suited to their particular lifestyle. We also recommend considering these top tips if you’re buying a dog this Christmas:

  • Your dog should have a balanced diet and access to water at all times.
  • Veterinary care is essential, including vaccinations, worming and flea treatments.
  • Groom, and check pets’ teeth, ears and nails on a regular basis for any potential problems.
  • A dog owner’s main responsibility is to provide a loving home for their pet.
  • Consider that leaving the dog alone at home for long periods could result in it barking loudly, which may disturb neighbours.
  • Dogs need to be safe, well-behaved with people and other animals.
  • Owners should look into training their pooch.
  • Dogs also need time and attention. Some breeds will need more mental stimulation and exercise than others, or they may become destructive.
  • By law, owners must keep their dog under control at all times and prevent it from being a nuisance to others.
  • A dog must be clearly identified, wearing a collar and tag with the name and address of its owner.
  • People thinking about buying a dog for Christmas should consider which dog, if any would suit their family and lifestyle.
  • They should ask friends about their dogs, and find out more about the breeds they like.
  • Potential owners should consider that some dogs can be more aggressive than others.
  • Neutering a dog can have health, financial and behavioural benefits.
  • Unneutered dogs can display unwanted sexual behaviour and aggression.
  • Neutering could encourage calmer, more predictable behaviour which makes them a more suitable family pet.
  • Those considering buying a pedigree dog should only go to a reputable breeder and avoid puppy farms and backyard breeders.

So please remember that a pet is for life, not just for Christmas!

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