I always wonder at Christmas if one of my gifts will be a puppy – or a rescue dog I should say as everyone knows I would rather that choice. Although there is always an element of disappointment when I don’t get a dog for Christmas, I also can’t help but feel slightly relieved as it would be chaos! Other than the fact that I am already looking after my (now 15 1/2-year-old) rescue dog who is nearly totally blind, extremely deaf and slightly incontinent, we are also hosting Christmas and that itself can bring stress to the festive season.
Sadly though there are still too many dogs given as gifts. This is obviously by well-meaning souls wanting to see a ‘face light up’ but after the initial excitement, reality kicks in. This is especially true if the pup starts chewing at your new pressies, pee’s on the carpet, wakes you in the night and is in need of a walk just when you’ve settled down for that Christmas movie.
Some manage to hang on to at least the end of January before they are looking to rehome the new addition, whilst others call the rescue centres within days of Christmas with the most bizarre and unbelievable excuses.
Trendy Celebrity Dogs
Celebrities constantly share and promote their dogs which can add pressure to some to get one. Obviously, this is not a reason to get a puppy and often it doesn’t work out. Some celebrities have given their dogs social media pages and have made certain breeds overly ‘trendy’ to own – both Lewis Hamiltons bulldogs have their own Instagram page! This increases people to breed their dogs to reap the rewards of fashion!
Think long and hard before buying a dog. It’s a huge commitment if you’re going to do it right.
Dogs for Health
There are many benefits to owning dogs as they are fantastic companions and enrich your life. Owning a dog also has fantastic health benefits including:
- They improve your mood
- Owning dogs is better for your blood pressure than drugs
- They encourage you to get out and walk/exercise
- Pets stave off loneliness
- Dogs can reduce stress —sometimes more than people do!
- Over the long term, pet and human interactions can lower cholesterol levels, fight depression and may even help protect against heart disease and stroke.
Dogs love you no matter what. They are dependent on you and so give you a purpose. They listen non-judgmentally when we talk to them, they have an amazing understanding of feelings and are extremely sensitive to moods and their surroundings. A dog can widen your social circle, by joining clubs and you can also meet an befriend fellow dog walkers. Friends of mine have a wide social circle all by walking in the same area every day.
Obviously not everyone wants or can own an animal but if there is a possibility it could have a real benefit to your health.