Tag Archives: Christmas Puppy
It’s Fun Dog Facts Friday! – Has your dog been naughty or nice?
Do you hang a stocking for your dog? Wrap up toys and a new collar and put them under the tree? It turns out that you’re not alone.
Christmas has gone to the dogs
Although we don’t count pets in a census…yet, we do know that about 60% of American households have a dog, cat, bird or other companion animal. The truth is that the vast majority of us treat our pets like family. And who wouldn’t want to include a family member in the holiday celebrations?
In a recent poll by PetFinder.com 63% of dog owners and 58% of people with cats planned to buy their pets something special this year. Overall, Americans reportedly spend some $5 billion a year on holiday gifts for their furry friends.
But the question remains…how does Santa know that your dog wants that new squeaky toy or cushy bed? He must have told him! It turns out that 20% of dog owners have their dog’s picture taken with Santa. This fad has become big business as many malls and pet stores are now offering this service to their customers. It has also proven to be a great way to raise funds for rescue groups and animal shelters.
We sure do love our pets!
Do you dress up your dogs for Christmas? Have they posed with Santa? Pop over to my Facebook page and post a picture. I’d love to see how your dog is celebrating the season!
Stay tuned for next weeks Fun Dog Facts!
More about Lisa Flynn on Google+
Buyer beware…are you wise to the hidden costs of Christmas puppies?
I feel your pain. I’ve been there. And will be again if I don’t get going this year!. It’s a week before Christmas and I know it’s tempting to just give in. The kids would be blown away to see a new puppy under the tree.
They’ve wanted one for years but they were still too young; you just had new floors put in; your new job was keeping you too busy for a dog. But here you are, still no gift and time is running out. Those puppies at the mall do look really cute. Maybe this year should be the one…
Before you buy, make sure you are aware of the hidden costs of Christmas Puppies.
If you buy a Christmas puppy from a breeder:
Be aware that a reputable breeder will not have puppies available for Christmas. They know that busy households, holiday travel, and added stress do not make a good environment for a new puppy. Any breeder that has a Christmas puppy for you is focused on making money; not on producing healthy, happy dogs. Be prepared for health problems, high vet bills, and potentially a very sick dog.
If you adopt a puppy from a rescue or shelter:
Like the breeders, a reputable rescue who first makes sure that their dogs are healthy and friendly will not adopt out dogs over the holidays. Odds are that if you adopt a dog at this time of year you very well may end up with a pup with serious behavioral issues such as separation anxiety, hyperactivity, and even aggression. Rehabilitating these dogs will be very costly if it is even possible.
If you purchase a puppy from a pet store:
Pet Stores get their supply of dogs from large-scale commercial dog breeding operations also known as puppy mills. The emphasis of these companies is on profits; not on animal welfare. Conditions even in a “legal” puppy mill are horrific. Unfortunately there are plenty of illegal puppy mills that are even worse.
The really sad part is some people think that by purchasing a dog from a puppy mill they are “saving” it. The truth is they are just putting more money in the pockets of those that run the mills so that they can produce more dogs. Meanwhile, you’ll be spending your money on training and vet bills for a sick, unstable dog.
Take a look at the inside of a “legal” Mennonite puppy mill in this video. I purposely chose not to show an “illegal” mill as it is much too heartbreaking for me to watch.
My advice? Run down to the pet store (one without puppies for sale) and buy a dog bowl, a dog bed, and a couple of toys. Wrap these as gifts under the tree. The kids will still be thrilled.
Then, after the holiday and things have settle down the whole family can be a part of picking an AFTER Christmas puppy!
More about Lisa Flynn on Google+
You are frazzled, exhausted, and fed up from battling the other shoppers in the mall. It’s the day before Christmas and you still don’t have “THE” gift, the big gift for the whole family. The one that will light up the faces of your spouse and kids when they wake up Christmas morning. Every year this happens. It comes down to the wire and you’re in the same predicament. As you lug your loot through the mall frantically trying to find something that will work you notice the adorable puppies in the window of the pet store. There is the cutest Husky pup looking right at you. You know the kids have been asking for a dog all year and you’ve been putting them off. But this dog is cute! Sure, it may not be the Yorkie they’ve been asking for. But, this is just the right surprise you’ve been looking for Christmas morning.
If this is you should you get a puppy for Christmas?
No. Of course not! In this scenario it’s obviously not a good decision. Dogs are living creatures. They should never be a last minute decision. They will need exercise, medical attention, training. To surprise your family with a boatload of responsibility is not the gift you are looking for.
However, there are occasions when you should get a puppy for Christmas.
Surprising the kids is a great idea. Surprising your spouse and not planning ahead is not. Should you decide that you’d like to give a puppy for Christmas there are some criteria that must first be met.
1. The adults, including extended family, who will be jointly responsible for the dog have all discussed the idea, understand the responsibility, and agree to getting a puppy. It is fine to have the children play a role in raising a dog. But ultimately that responsibility comes down to you.
2. You have spent some time researching breeds and responsible breeders or rescue organizations. Brian Kilcommon and Sara Wilson’s book Paws to Consider is a great resource to help you choose the right breed for you.
3. You have met the pup and determined that it is healthy, the right breed, and the right temperament for your family. To help you sift through the adoption language and determine if the dog you are considering is a good fit I highly recommend Sue Sternberg’s book Successful Dog Adoption
3. You have set aside enough money for the puppies first visit to the veterinarian and their necessary vaccines.
4. You and your family will be home for the holidays and not traveling thereby needing to board a new puppy. Puppies take time and attention. If you are traveling or have a houseful of guests over the holidays it’s not a good idea to get a puppy just yet.
5. You don’t live in a frigid winter climate. As a professional dog trainer in the North East I can immediately identify a dog that was a “winter puppy”. There is the obvious challenge of house-training a dog during the winter months (think about bundling up and standing in the freezing cold every four hours waiting while your pup is busy playing with the snow instead of taking care of business!). But even more importantly dogs need to be socialized. The critical “Socialization Period” lasts from 7 to 16 weeks. During this time it is very important to introduce your pup to new sights, sounds, people, and surfaces. If your dog is not exposed to as much as possible it can have some permanent effects. It is much easier to socialize your dog during warmer weather.
So, should you get a puppy for Christmas?
As you can see, the answer is not cut and dry. It is up to you to determine if the timing is right and that you are able to offer the puppy what it needs. Perhaps, you should still stop at that pet store. But instead of buying a puppy buy a leash, a bowl, a brush, and a bed. Wrap those items up for under the tree. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays you and your family can go and find the right dog together.
Have you ever gotten or given a pet for Christmas? If so I’d love to hear about your experiences. Please comment and share below.
The holidays are upon us. We are busy buying presents, going to parties, and trimming the tree. As we rush around buying gifts for our loved ones this holiday season let’s not forget those in need. And by that I mean donate, support and volunteer at your local dog shelter.
Andrea at fortheloveofthedogblog.com recently had some great suggestions for helping the many dogs and cats who don’t have a home for the holidays.
Secret Santa to Help Homeless Animals
Does your office do the Secret Santa thing? You know, you pull a co-worker’s name from a bowl, buy them a gift, and present it to them at the office Christmas party. You have no idea if they will like it. Consider this alternative:
Find a local struggling rescue or shelter and get their wish list. Put the wish list items in a bowl and have the office pick from those. Bring them in on the day of your office party and invite some shelter/rescue representatives to join the fun. They can transport the items back to their facility. If they can’t attend, you can always let some employees deliver them. This “variation on a theme” is bound to be appreciated by the recipients.
You can do the same for your local senior citizen housing center. Obtain a list of home bound seniors that have animals. You don’t need the names, just a count of dogs and cats living with their owners. Assign 1 *family* to your employees and have them buy food and needed items for their pets. Cellophane gift bags can be bought cheap at a local Dollar Store. You can bag the items, decorate them holiday style and deliver them to the center.
Donation Drive to Help Homeless Animals
Have a donation drive. Bags of food, kitty litter, rawhides, toys, collars and leashes are always needed. Instead of the Secret Santa thing, collect donations for a local shelter/rescue and deliver them. All you need to do is get ahold of the shelter/rescue wish list. If your office already donates to a local food bank, you can expand the donations to include pet food and kitty litter. Help struggling families keep their pets. I don’t know of any food bank that turns away pet food and supplies.
And it doesn’t necessarily need to be food. Other supplies are needed too. Here is a short example of a typical rescue/shelter wish list:
Dry and canned dog and cat food
Dry and canned kitten food
Large and medium food/water bowls
Durable dog/kitten/cat toys
Rawhides for dogs – all sizes
Heating pads for infant animals
Cleaning/kitchen supplies and air freshener spray, kennel cleaning supplies
Scrub brushes, rubber curry brushes, mops, brooms, heavy-duty water hoses
Laundry detergent, dishwashing gloves, baking soda, bleach, paper towels
Blankets, bath towels (used or new)
Dog leashes and collars – all sizes
Flannel baby blankets for kittens and puppies
Paper towels & bathroom tissue
Top-loading cat carriers
Cardboard cat scratchers
Ziplock food storage bags – all sizes
Trash bags – all sizes
Donations for special needs and veterinary bills
Dog and cat sponsorships
Foster homes for adult cats
Forever homes for cats and dogs
Gift cards to pet supply or home improvement
Donate in behalf of your co-workers
Instead of buying your co-workers a token something, Use the money you would spend for each gift and give it to a struggling rescue to feed their animals. Give your co-workers a card stating what you have given to the rescue on their behalf with a picture of the animals they have helped feed.
Do anything for your local shelter or rescue. Dog walk. Pet the kitties. Clean the kennels. Foster an animal. Take pictures for their website or Petfinder site. Supply donations are great, but most of them can function better with a supply of two hands and two feet.
I emphasize giving to the struggling, grass roots shelters and rescues. I can’t dictate to you who to donate to, but it’s the small organizations that need the most help. Not the big ones like HSUS or ASPCA. Don’t donate to their administration costs like hefty salaries and travel perks.
If you can, buy from your local, independent farm stores and pet supply shops. It’s the local “mom and pop” stores that need our business. Not the big chain stores. Many of them do give gift cards and certificates if you prefer to donate those.
Spin off anything from the suggestions above. Help the homeless animals and the animals will feel better; the shelter/rescue personnel will feel better. You’ll feel better. And it just might morph into an all year thing.
I’d love to hear your ideas for helping homeless animals. Please comment and share below!
Excerpted from Andrea’s post on www.fortheloveofthedogblog.com