Saturday, December 3, 2011
How Much is That Puppy in The Parking Lot?
The year has passed quickly, and we're back at the season of giving. And overindulging, overspending and impulsive purchases that we wouldn't normally make any given time a year. We think we're done, and trudge tiredly to our car, when we spy a crowd in the parking lot; yet again, someone is selling puppies.
Once upon a time, we'd see boxes of mixed breed puppies and kittens in boxes in front of the grocery store that were being given away for free. A bad economy and the trend toward designer dogs has those who have intact dogs with the ability to breed looking for a way to earn some cash: sell them as the next trendy thing in a parking lot.
A reputable breeder would never take a young animal into a public place to sell it. With all the viruses that young unvaccinated pets can potentially be exposed to, they know they will be carrying that back to their own pets at home. Everyone who stops to ooh and ahh, and PETS the animal will be exposing it to everything that human has come in contact with.
And then there's the stress. No matter how good the home, being moved from one environment to another is stressful. Which is why we see so many new owners with sick puppies and kittens. Stress weakens the immune system in animals as well as people. Reputable breeders are happy to hold puppies and kittens until after the holidays.
If you must have a warm fuzzy of your own during the holidays, remember that during the hustle and bustle you're already in that you'll have to schedule at least one vet visit during this time. A well pet check and vaccinations are not something that should be put off, whether it's a pedigreed purebred or an adorable mutt.
Make sure when you're equipping your home for the new addition that you also make a safe, quiet place for the pet to go when it needs to. A crate for the puppy or a bed for the kitten in a quiet room so that they can escape all the noise is essential. Holiday time is stressful and overwhelming for pets, too. Keep them away from holiday decorations. Pets love to drink from the Christmas tree bowl, eat pine needles and ribbons from packages. Any of these can result in a serious emergency.
If you just can't resist that parking lot puppy, get in your car and go immediately to the local animal shelter. Shelters that euthanize unwanted pets will be doing more euthanizing this month than most others. They will have only a small crew during the holidays and need to keep the population down. There's plenty of choices, you're sure to find something hard to resist. And your adoption fee includes a vet exam, vaccinations, and spaying/neutering, usually for less than the price of that parking lot pup.