Posted On : 01-12-2017
Puppies are a popular gift at Christmas. Animal welfare groups warn against this for good reason. Puppy mills undoubtedly gear up their operations for the festive season rush. And then there are always a minority of owners who abandon the puppy the following Easter when it's no longer cute and interferes with their holiday plans. But one veterinarian warns a hastily purchased pup can be just as dangerous to owner welfare.
"If you haven't taken the time to do your homework before buying a puppy," explains Dr Meg Howe, a puppy matching and ethical dog breeding specialist, "It can come right back and bite you down the track."
The biggest pitfalls, according to Dr Howe, are getting a puppy that's either poorly bred, poorly prepared for life with humans, or the wrong breed for your family.
Incestuous breeding is a common practice amongst dog breeders. The pups that result have lower life expectancy and weaker general health. They also are at considerably great risk of serious genetic disorders, even if their parents have been tested. The number of diseases genetic tests screen for are very limited.
"Owners of sick dogs suffer on two fronts, said Dr Howe "Not only are they paying steep and unanticipated veterinary bills for diagnosis and treatment, but watching their best friend's health deteriorate is an agony all its own."
A puppy that hasn't been raised in a loving home environment may have difficulty fitting in with their new family. Studies show that puppy mills and the pet shops they supply are notorious sources of psychologically traumatized dogs. Affected dogs are not fun to live with. Owners can protect themselves by being selective about where they get their new puppy from.
"Choosing an inappropriate breed of dog is another common mistake," Dr Howe warns, "Large, or energetic working dog breeds in anything other than active, capable homes can wreak havoc or even be downright dangerous."
A more careful choice gives owners the best chance of enjoying a long and happy life with their puppy. Given that your new dog should last at least ten to fifteen years, it's well worth doing your homework and waiting a few months for the right puppy.