Giving a pet as a Christmas present is ‘totally the wrong idea’, says animal charity
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An animal charity has advised against buying pets to give as gifts over the festive period.
PACT animal sanctuary, which is based in Hingham, has given several reasons why Christmas is a bad time to introduce a pet to the family.
1. New carers have a very busy time, with no time for the safety and wellbeing of the new animal.
2. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs and not very good for cats and there is plenty lying about at Christmas.
3. A new dog, especially a puppy, needs so much training in the first few weeks, and will learn most of their new commands in the first six months of life.
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4. Why buy a puppy? There are so many dogs looking for homes, especially at Christmas - why not go to your local centre instead?
5. There are concerns around unregistered puppy farms, and by buying puppies there is a risk it will encourage more.
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6. Our experience with so-called Christmas puppies is that they come back to us in the following autumn at 10 to 14 months old. People who buy Christmas puppies tend to enjoy the puppy time until spring, then enjoy the summer and then when the wet and cold weather arrives they have to walk a dog who they have not trained and the fun is gone so they take it to a rescue centre. We have a black list of people who do this every year.
The spokesman for PACT added: "Puppy or not our advice is firstly to analyse your lifestyle and read up on breeds and just what a dog needs for a good life and then to find one of the excellent dog training clubs and accept the help they can give.
"For example, it is pointless for a person who can't walk far with a small garden to buy a Collie or any dog that needs lots of exercise and mental stimulation. Read the books, ask the questions and have a long and happy life with your new friend.
"In view of the above I would suggest that to give a pet as a present at Christmas is totally the wrong idea."