It's Black Friday: the official start to the holiday season. And that means there are going to be a number of cute cuddly buddies with bows around their necks waiting under the tree.
Please, please, if you are going to get a pet this holiday season (no matter how many legs they do or do not have), choose carefully. Most dogs in shelters are not strays, but owner give-ups. A dog or cat is not an accessory. It's not a toy or a hobby. By getting a pet, you are committing to their lifetime. Animals don't understand that you might divorce them.
Of course, I highly recommend adopting from a shelter. There are so many wonderful pets that need homes. If you adopt an adult dog, you may end up with a buddy who is already potty-trained, already knows basic obedience. With an adult, you have a better idea of what you're going to get, as opposed to a puppy, whose personality is still developing.
If you have your heart set on that sweet puppy smell, please don't perpetuate the tragedy of puppy mills. If you don't want to adopt, fine--but if you can't meet a puppy's parents, that is a good indication something may be wrong. They parents may have health or behavioural problems, or they may be from puppy mills. The mother of that cute bundle of fur? She might have lived her entire life in a cage, her legs deformed from lack of proper excercise. A lot of puppy mill breeders lose their teeth prematurely because of an unhealthy diet. The female are prone to mammary problems, including cancer, because they are bred too often and too young. Do your homework. Find a reputable breeder. There is an animal out there who will thank you for it and love you forever.
This week's posts are brought to you by Bob, a handsome shepherd mix who wants nothing more than a new family for Christmas.