A pup from Santa is often top of the kids wish list, if possible leave the puppy giving to the parents – if there’s going to be a new puppy for Christmas its best to involve the kids in the search – we give you some tips on how to go about getting a puppy and what to watch out for…

There are lots of creative ways to tell your child that Santa thinks it best they choose their own family pet. If you can convince them of the merits of this, they’ll get far more joy from the involvement in the search for the pet, than the five minutes of glee when a puppy jumps out of the box on Christmas morning.

A puppy should never be a last minute decision, whatever the time of year. You need to do your homework.

Looking for a full breed pup

If you’re looking for a full breed puppy, you should contact the Irish Kennel Club for a list of responsible, registered breeders on www.ikc.ie. You can also get information on the different breeds from them; such as life expectancy, health concerns, temperament, how to care for them – this is all very important when choosing the right pet for your family and lifestyle.

When you get to the breeder, there is a large list of questions you should get answers to. The Dogs Trust has a great facts sheet on questions to ask. You can download it from here http://www.dogstrust.ie/az/b/buyingadog/#.VGX8or1FCUk

How to avoid a puppy farm pup

The last thing you want to do is unwittingly support the puppy farm trade. The DSPCA give some good tips on how to avoid a puppy farm.

Some of these tips include:

  • Be wary of classified ads online and in newspapers, especially from breeders with multiple breeds for sale
  • Try to avoid buying from pet shops as you’ve no idea of the history of the puppy
  • Never buy a dog without seeing the premises where the mother and pup are kept

Is adopting a pet an option?

Probably the best way of getting a pet is by adopting one. If you’re not fussy about it being a tiny puppy or a full breed dog then you’re onto a winner. There are thousands of dogs in shelters across the country just waiting to be re-homed. The following websites are a good start, but just google your local shelters and animal welfare groups as well:

Calling our online pet community

We would love to hear from anyone who has been through the process of searching for a family pet; with any advice, ideas, tips, insights that you have gained through this experience. Equally, we would love to hear from anybody who is going through the process at the moment, about how you are finding the experience. You can contact us on newsletter@petinsure.ie, or post via our petinsure.ie Facebook page!