With Christmas coming up, it’s a wonderful time of year where families and friends get to spend time together. Watching kids open gifts can be a magical feeling. This time of year, a lot of families get their kids or significant other a puppy for Christmas. While that is awesome they’ve decided to add a furry member to their family, there are often times that another dog pays the ultimate price.
After adopting our first senior dog Champ, I learned quite a bit about senior dogs. I’ve learned that shelters and rescues have a busy time of year when families get puppies and dump their older dog, which happens to be at Christmas time ☹. When your dog is older, getting a puppy isn’t always the best idea. I have often heard of times when a family gets a puppy and the older dog snaps at or tries to bite it. Do you know what then happens to that senior dog? It goes to the shelter or worse, gets euthanized.
If you already have an older dog in the home and/or you’re considering adding a puppy or younger dog, please consider the following:
- Visit local rescues & shelters first – there are always puppies available
- Do not support puppy mills and backyard breeders. These dogs are abused, severely mistreated, and do not get the care and love they need.
- Do your research to better understand what the dog may require as it gets bigger & older
- Understand what it will require as it gets older regarding exercise, cost of food & care, prone to health issues like allergies that may requires medication, training, etc.
- Do not get a puppy if you’re going to dump your older dog when it doesn’t welcome the puppy with open paws
- Many times, older dogs like their space and don’t like a lot of commotion. Older dogs tend to not like puppies jumping all over them and nibbling their face.
- Do not get a puppy because you think your senior dog wants a friend
- Trust me when I say that your senior dog doesn’t want a friend jumping all over them, nibbling their face, barking, & always running around. Your senior dog wants to be with you and do their favorite things with their favorite human(s).
- Most importantly, do not get a puppy if you’re going to dump it at the shelter when it becomes too much to handle, too expensive, you don’t have enough time, etc.
- Puppies require the same things as other dogs do: exercise, patience, training, money, vet care, & proper socialization. They may be cute but they are not disposable.
If you’ve considered all these things and you’re serious about being a responsible dog parent and won’t give up on the puppy and/or your senior dog, then congratulations! If you’ve realized that maybe a puppy isn’t for the best right now, then congratulations! There are other ways to get involved with the dog community without actually having a dog. You can donate to a local rescue or shelter, volunteer (always in need of more help), advocate for responsible dog parenting, share social media posts about dogs in need, and continue to educate yourself on how you can be a dog advocate.
For Christmas this year, I encourage you to visit a local shelter especially with your kids and start teaching them about dogs. Teach them that shelter dogs aren’t bad dogs, teach them about why they are there, teach them how to interact with dogs in the shelter and in other settings, teach them to be kind to dogs and all animals, and most of all teach them that old dogs are just as great as the puppies. 😊 That is the greatest gift you could give because the more we teach others, the less dogs that will end up in shelters.
With love & pawsitivity,
Susie Cogswell, Cogs Dogs Mom
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