Is your little one pestering you for a dog? At this time of year it can be tempting to give into such demands but bringing an animal into your home is not something you should do lightly – you should give it plenty of thought over the duration of the Christmas and New Year period and make the choice which is right for you.
If you do decide to give a pet a home with you, then there is little more satisfying that rehoming a dog that has been left at a rescue centre. This may have happed due to a breakdown in marriage of their previous owners or even because of cruelty and abuse.
It’s a hard topic to stomach at this time of year, when most people are celebrating and filling their lives with happiness, but cruelty at Christmas does happen. It’s even the focus of the RSPCA’s current campaign which has seen this Snowglobe video released to encourage members of the public to donate to the charity and say no to cruelty.
According to the video, there will be over 70,000 calls to the RSPCA’s cruelty hotline this December and this makes the need to rehome dogs even more prominent. Dog rehoming can give injured or mistreated animals a second chance at a happy life and show them what the spirit of Christmas is all about.
Whether you choose to rehome them now or later in the New Year, these tips can help you establish if it’s the right choice for you.
Choose the dog carefully
Ensure that your energy levels and that of the dog match up. Do your homework on different breeds and make sure that its temperament is suitable for your home. Rehoming centres will advise you on animals that aren’t suitable for those with young children or busy households.
Consider the age
The age of the dog will determine how much care it needs. You should look at the lifestyle you currently lead in order to decide whether you would like a puppy or an older dog and also make sure that you will be at home a sufficient amount of time to care for the dog properly. If you and your partner both work fulltime then you are unlikely to be able to provide a dog with the stimulation and care it needs on a day-to-day basis.
Go with your head
When choosing a rescue dog it can be really easy to choose the first one you see based on appearances. However, you really do need to ensure that you can cope with it once you take it home as it isn’t fair on you or the dog otherwise.
Take your time
The last thing a vulnerable animal needs to be returned to the rehoming centre so you need to think long and hard about your decision to rehome a dog – even if it means taking your time.
If you decide that rehoming a dog is not for you and your family then you can still help the RSPCA by donating to their appeals. Last winter, the charity rescued 23,847 animals from abuse and neglect and you can help them do the same this year by donating. You can also look at adopting pets with a regular donation to provide continued support and give your kids the excitement of owning a pet but without actually bringing one into your home.
Make the right decision for your family this Christmas and do everything you can to say no to animal cruelty.
Join the RSPCA and say #NotToCruelty by rehoming an animal or donating to their Christmas Appeal. Text RESCUE to 84010 to donate £3.