I firmly believe that a puppy is a serious commitment that must be thought long and hard about. If the pup has been discussed amongst family members and agreed upon, with a lot of research done, then a Xmas puppy is not a bad thing. Quite often this is when people have the time to settle a new addition in to the home and have a break from work or other activities. However there are numerous things to be considered... where is the pup from, what breed, have you met the pups mum, etc.
Earlier in the year an event was held in London to highlight the issue of puppy farming in the UK and to promote responsible pet ownership. Currently there are numerous organisations campaigning to the government to place a ban on all puppy farming in the UK.
Puppy farming is the commercial process of breeding pups with no consideration to the physical and mental welfare of the mums, and their young. Puppy farmed pups can come with many issues as a result of their environment and lack of stimulation or interaction. Many of the dogs and pups are kept in small cramped and unclean conditions and have limited interaction before being sold at pet shops or online across the country.
Please please if you are thinking about getting a new pup, whether at Xmas or not, take a moment to ask yourself where the pup has come from? Where's mum?
Have a look at the Kennel Club website where there is an information guide to help you find fit and healthy pups. They have also started their Assured Breeders Scheme whereby breeders have to meet the Kennel Club criteria for care standards, including in breeding within pedigree lines. The Kennel Club has their own 'Find a Puppy' web page and this is a good place to start.
When you do find a breeder, ask if you can meet the pups parents. Quite often a stud dog may have been used so might not be available to meet. However there should be no excuse not to meet the mother of the pups. Make sure you do this as it will give you an idea of potential size, temperament and health of your pup.
The Pup Aid website (www.pupaid.org) offers a wealth of information and advice for anyone thinking about getting a puppy. My one piece of advice is take your time and choose the right pup. Don't rush in to purchasing the first pup on the spot, which can be exceptionally hard as all pups are so so cute!