A puppy or a kitten is a very bad idea for a Christmas present.
Unless you have carefully considered every angle, that is.
- For instance, do you know how big the breed will be when it’s fully grown? A Cocker Spaniel pup is the most adorable little thing, but they grow into good medium sized dogs. Labradors are large dogs, and not suited to small houses and gardens, etc.
- Do you know the characteristics of the breed you’re planning to buy? Do you know that some dogs, like border collies, kelpies, Australian shepherds, blue heelers, etc., need to exercise everyday. They need space to run, and they need to be challenged. They are very intelligent dogs, and get bored easily. They will not allow you to ignore them – they demand attention. Are you up to the challenge?
- Are you buying the puppy because your three or four year old has been nagging for a dog? Who is going to look after the dog? You or your child? Be sure your child is old enough to handle the responsibility, or you will end up doing the work. Are you okay with that?
- Puppies and even older dogs chew. They chew on toys, shoes, area rugs, furniture, plants, anything they can get their teeth into. Can you deal with that? Without lashing out at the dog or hitting it with something?
- Will you be prepared to give time and attention to your dog? It is cruel to get a dog, and then ignore it completely. They will love you with all their being, the least you can do is give it some love back.
- Dogs eat a lot. Their food cost a lot of money. They also need to get shots from time to time. Can you afford a dog?
Please consider carefully, leave emotions out of this. And please make sure you get your pup spayed. Please get your puppy from a dog shelter or whatever it is called in your country. (Here it is SPCA or Animal Shelters.) These are dogs that people bought because they didn’t think it through properly, and now they don’t want them anymore.
Cats have slightly different considerations, but in essence they are the same. You also have to consider the breed characteristics and whether you want a short haired or long haired cat. They are slightly more aloof than dogs, and mostly they decide when they are ready for some attention, so keep that in mind.
And most of all, PLEASE do not become one of those people who leave your dog next to the road or thrown into a river in a bag because it has become a nuisance to you. It kills me to see where and in and what condition dogs/cats are sometimes found. No person who does something like that, deserves any kind of respect.
Dogs and cats are amazing creatures, they make wonderful companions, they are loyal beyond measure, and they deserve your love and respect as another living being.