Contribution from freelance writer Cassidy Montford.
Imagine opening that beautifully wrapped parcel on Christmas day and finding a festive Chihuahua. Surely wonderful right? Not unless you’re giving a dog to a completely responsible and reliable pet owner. Last year over 42,000 Chihuahuas was taken in by shelters. Simply because they couldn’t be looked after properly. Dogs aren’t something you should give as a gift. They are a long-term commitment. Here are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t gift a dog for Christmas.
They can’t be left for long
Once your chihuahua is old enough and more experienced, you may be able to leave them for periods of 2-3 hours. However you can’t leave them all day long. They will be distressed and are likely to cause damage to your home. If you are working a full time job, or out of the house for long hours, then you would need to arrange for someone else to look after your dog and take them out for walks.
Dogs are expensive
The cost of owning a dog averages over $1,000 a year, and that’s on the low end. The expenses for basic needs, such as food and bedding, add up. You may also have to pay other items such for medical expenses, training classes, leashes, collars, treats and toys. This makes that gift of a cute chihuahua very expensive indeed. Before you get a dog, you need to consider carefully if you can really afford all of the things that your pet will need.
Dogs need exercise
Even little chihuahuas need exercise, are not a handbag dog that you can carry around all day. They need at least two walks a day. They also need to be let outside between 3-5 times a day to go to the toilet. Before getting a dog, you should always consider whether or not you can make this commitment every single day – even in winter full-time when it is cold and rainy.
Dogs need mental stimulation
Chihuahuas, especially puppies need playing with everyday. It is through play that they learn how to behave. This is important time that you will spend with your dog. No matter what sort of day you’ve had, or even if you’re not in the mood, you still need to play with your pet. They thrive on love and attention. Having a chihuahua is an investment, for all the time you spend with them, you are paid back with affection and loyalty.
Chihuahuas are not a suitable Christmas present. They are however, a beautiful dog breed – just consider carefully before taking on a new pet.