Well let’s start by stating again that a dog is not just for Christmas. Having said that, if you’re considering getting a dog and you’re in a position to offer a dog a good home where they will be loved, fed and cared for, then you would be doing the dog, your family and yourself a massive favour as the love, comfort and sense of security that a dog can provide make the investment of time, money and energy so worthwhile.
And make no mistake, the investment is significant in each of the above if you want to have a mutually fulfilling relationship with your dog that benefits you, your family and of course your dog.
There’s the cost of buying the dog in the first place - I heard recently that people are paying up to £5,000 for a French Bulldog puppy – seemingly this season’s must-have pup! You can significantly reduce this initial cost by adopting a rescue dog. As well as reducing your outlay, you will be making a huge difference to the life of an animal who – generally for no fault of their own – has come up against hard times. Which of us hasn’t felt a little twinge of anguish when you see photos like these ones of sad dogs at rescue centres. The amazing people who work at these places do everything they can for these poor animals but ultimately what they need is a human to love and feed them, a cosy place to sleep and nothing to fear from their owners or the outside world.
So. Whether you paid £5,000 or £50, let's assume you’ve now bought your dog. First steps:
Check-up at the Vet: Well, if you’re anything like me, once you’ve got your puppy, even if it turns out that it has something wrong with it, you’ll feel responsible for it by then and will just accept the costs of easing any symptoms the dog might have as part of the deal but most breeders offer the right to return a puppy if there is a health or behaviour issue, but more importantly, if there is a problem, wouldn’t you want to know so you can prevent it getting worse and alleviate any pain or discomfort the dog might be suffering from?
Microchip: Dogs now have to be microchipped by law and many rescue centres offer this service for free but you will otherwise have to pay to have your new furriend microchipped by the vet. It’s worth it though as besides being a legal requirement, not only will the microchip mean that in the heart-wrenching event that your dog goes missing, you are doing everything possible to ensure that he or she finds his or her way back to you.
So once you’ve dealt with the boring but necessary bits, you can start thinking about Dog Stuff. Yup. Dogs come with stuff. Lots of stuff.
There’s the obvious: the bed, the food, the bowls, the collar and the lead but there’s so much more STUFF you’ll end up getting involved in. Blankets, crate, coats, jumpers, treats, soaps, shampoos, nose balm, supplements, soft toys, chewy toys, teething toys, toothpaste, toothbrush, hair brush, hair mitt, longer lead, shorter lead, training lead, feeding stand… the list goes on… that particular list was compiled just by looking around me from my seat at the kitchen table... and I’m not one of the obsessive dog-shoppers (although my husband would beg to differ) but there is all sorts of canine extravagance you can get involved in… take yourself back to Twitter and just search for #WoofWoofWednesday for just a quick insight into the world of the hardcore dog-shoppers!
So there you have it. Don't get a dog for Christmas if you're not ready for all of this, but if you are ready and excited about it (as well as about the dog training, dog walking, clearing up dog mess, having a poo bag in every coat pocket, having dog hair all over your clothes and furniture, never going out on New Year's Eve so the dog doesn't get left home alone with fireworks going on around them etc.) then by all means, go get yourselves a dog for Christmas!
But, the one key thing to give your dog that sense of self-worth, the confidence to hold his head up high on his walks around the neighbourhood and in short to create a sociable, well-balanced dog, is of course, the holiday!
Imagine the emotional trauma of going to the park and being the only dog hanging his head in shame because instead of keeping his humans company on a fabulous dogfriendly holiday, he’s going to be headed to kennels.
You wouldn’t do that to your dog, would you?
Or course not!
So here's a few pics of our fabulous local area to remind you why Dorset is the perfect spot for a holiday, so since you're here anyway, why not have a potter around the website and decide which of our dogfriendly cottages would be the best choice for you and yours.
Hi! I'm Sam :-)