Puppies: think before you buy this Christmas

Adorable: But Limerick city vet Donal Ryan warns about buying a family pet

Adorable: But Limerick city vet Donal Ryan warns about buying a family pet

  • by Donal Ryan Limerick vet, www.cityvet.ie

If you are a parent who intends to make your child’s dreams come true this Christmas with the addition of a new puppy to your household there are many things you need to consider.

For a start, think about the dog’s grooming and exercise requirements, its temperament and potential size as an adult dog and how its needs will fit in with your lifestyle.

Every Christmas, parents across the country delight their children with a new puppy but for far too many this delight often turns into traumatic disappointment and broken hearted children. What some parents don’t realise is that buying a puppy is a life-changing decision.

Unfortunately, it is common for many of these same parents who buy puppies for Christmas to want to re-home them in January, when reality sets in and they realise that it’s another “child” to deal with, one which is making a mess all over the house and behaving in an unruly manner.

Puppies are adorable bundles of joy that will tug at your heart strings, begging you to take them home and as difficult as it sometimes is, buying a puppy should never be done on impulse. Instead, take the time to investigate which breed would be best for you, your family and lifestyle. Talk to several owners and a veterinary surgeon about the breed you’re interested in, gathering information to make an informed choice.

Puppies are living, breathing creatures that require constant attention for the first two years and thoughtful attention after that for the rest of their lives. Owning a dog is not only a financial commitment with ongoing expenses for quality food and veterinary care but also requires a suitable environment that includes daily walks, toys to avoid damage to property, training and your time to give affection.

Over and above the initial cost of getting a puppy parents would do well to include the cost of vaccinations, worm treatments, microchipping and spaying and neutering. Many of these costs are once off but are vital to protect your new puppy’s health.

Remember, a dog is for life, not just for Christmas.




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