"Dear Santa, Ples giv me a puppie for Christmas. Lov Susie."
Yes, a new puppy seems like the perfect Christmas gift. They're cute, sweet, and cuddly.
I've spoken to other responsible dog owners about getting a new puppy for Christmas. Our best description for being unaware of pet owner responsibility is "dog dumb."
Don't be offended. Been there, done that. Know better nowadays.
Consider our list of dog "don'ts" before you decide to get a puppy.
1) Don't breed and sell puppies (small operations or puppy mills) ... go to Petfinder!
2) Kids don't usually take care of their pets ... "Mom, you feed the dog!"
3) Dogs don't do well on cheap food ... goes in one end and right out the other.
4) Dogs don't seek out solitary confinement ... chained or in a crate or kennel ... man's best friend needs human contact.
5) "Dog, heal thyself?" Don't expect your pet to stay healthy ... they need vet care ... spay/neuter, vaccinations, preventive flea, tick, heartwormer, dental ... may seem expensive, but absolutely necessary.
6) Don't believe that little puppy will stay tiny ... you may end up with a Marmaduke-sized dog in your home and horse-sized poop everywhere in your yard.
7) Don't scream at, hit, or beat your dog to force them to behave ... good pet parents teach obedience without ill treatment. Do adopt a puppy or dog for the right reason ... to enjoy the companionship and love.
Peace to you and yours during the holidays.