A dog is for life, not just for Christmas
9th November 2015
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Dogs Trust is taking action in a bid to stop thousands of puppies being bought without due consideration this Christmas, only to be heartlessly abandoned soon after. Every day Dogs Trust takes in dogs of all shapes and sizes, often accompanied by unbelievable reasons why their owners are giving them up.

The last week of November marks the week when traffic to internet sites selling puppies peaks as consumers begin to search for Christmas presents. To convey the charity’s iconic slogan ‘A Dog is For Life, Not Just for Christmas®’, the shocking reasons given to stunned Dogs Trust staff by owners who no longer wish to care for their dogs are listed below.

The shocking reasons include:

  • “He kept chasing frogs”
  • “He looked different after we walked him in the rain”
  • "He was too loving and needed too much attention"
  • “I’m worried our toddler will copy him and poo in the garden”
  • "He’s too playful - we haven’t sat down since we got him"
  • “My dog is old and going to die soon”
  • "He was scared of the cat next door ”
  • "He barks every morning”
  • “He wags his tail too much”
  • "She’s seems hungry all the time and follows me around the house"
  • “He kept coughing in the night and woke me up”
  • “All the puppy did was sleep. We wanted a dog we could play with”

Giles Webber, responsible for rehoming at Dogs Trust’s 20 rehoming centres commented:

"With more and more puppies flooding the Christmas market, all available at the click of a button - it is more essential than ever that our iconic message “A Dog is For Life, Not Just For Christmas®” is ingrained in people’s minds. We hope that people will think twice about the commitment of dog ownership before impulsively buying a puppy.”

47,000 owners abandoned their dogs in just 12 months last year. That's 47,000 dogs that need looking after and rehoming because the majority of their owners made the wrong decision. So how do you make sure you don't make this mistake and add to the figure? Here are our top tips:

1. Do your research.
Dogs come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, temperments, liveliness, and all have different natural instincts (for example, a gundog will be more likely to enjoy throwing and catching, whereas a terrier may love digging holes in the garden!). If you're serious about welcoming a dog into your family, you'll be able to find the best breed to fit your lifestyle with a little help from knowledgable professionals - a vet!

2. Think about adopting instead of "shopping".
Many dog lovers get drawn into the idea of buying a puppy because they're cute, small, fluffy and "yours" from the very beginning. The thing is, puppies are only puppies for a short while. There are thousands of dogs looking for loving homes, waiting for someone to realise they're just as good as a puppy could ever be. Whilst adopting a dog can sometimes require more work as most have had a disruptive life, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. That said, this is something you serioualy need to think about before jumping in at the deep end. You'll need to train a puppy just as much as you'd need to train or re-train an adopted dog.

3. Pets aren't cheap!
Keeping any animal costs money, and we're not just talking food. You need to factor in so many other expenses, such as neutering your dog or spaying your bitch, training classes, veterinary bills including regular check ups and emergency care, and pet insurance. Not forgetting everything you need for your dog, such as bowls, bedding, toys, leads, micro chipping, and so much more.

4. Timing is key.
Dogs need your time. If you travel a lot or your job takes you away from home overnight, it's probably best to wait before getting a dog. You need to spend quality time with a dog as they are highly sociable animals. They also need stimulation to keep them occupied, much like humans, otherwise they can become depressed or anxious, making them destructive. It's also best to keep a dog in one home, so if you're moving often you should wait until you have a permanent, settled home environment. Dogs can become distressed with large changes and new surroundings.

5. What about holidays?
Dogs ARE for life, but we all need a holiday every so often. If you aren't taking your dog on holiday with you (bearing in mind your dog will need a passport if it's overseas and the relevant vaccinations), you'll need to trust someone to look after your dog. Whether it's a kennel or a friend or family member, you'll need to consider how your dog may react to being left in a different environment and with strangers.

Our final piece of advice? If you're really unsure about getting a dog, simply ask a professional. They really do know their stuff. You may LOVE the look of your neighbour's new puppy, but will it suit your lifestyle? It's so much better to get peace of mind about a breed before it's too late. We'd highly recommend you ask the friendly experts at Kydd and Kydd Vets - they've been in Wimbledon for decades and know dogs like the back of their hands. Once you've chosen the best dog breed for you, you'll never look back. Dogs are called a man's best friend for a reason!

About the Author

Andrew M

Member since: 10th July 2012

The Best of Wimbledon and Merton helps to bring all the best local information to all local residents and businesses throughout Wimbledon and Merton. We also bring trusted businesses and the community...

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