Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Puppy Presents: What to Consider First

(ARA) – A gift of unconditional love seems the perfect message to send for Valentine’s Day, but if you are thinking of giving a puppy as a gift for the holiday, you might be barking up the wrong tree.

The classic image of a cuddly puppy with a bow tied around its neck is a wonderful sight. But as the season passes, the demands of dog ownership increase. Before you purchase a puppy as a gift, especially if it is intended for a child, make sure that the household is prepared for the new family member and the added expenses that come along with the dog.

On average, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that the annual cost of a small dog, including food, veterinary care, toys and license, is $420. Make that $620 for a medium dog and $780 for a large pooch. The price tag doesn’t include initial expenses for spay or neuter surgery, collar and leash, carrier or crate, either.

So, while a puppy seems like a great idea for an enjoyable Valentine’s Day, many times the pets are abandoned or delivered to animal shelters because their new owners cannot care for them. According to the ASPCA, the heartbreaking statistics are that 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized.

A better idea for younger children might be a realistic plush puppy such as those in the Beverly Hills Puppy Club. The huggable high style pups are nearly as fun as the real thing. The playful plush can help children work up to the idea of owning a real puppy and learn more about the work involved in caring for a dog.

The puppy club offers a choice of “toy” dog breeds, such as a Pug, Shih-Tzu, Yorkie or Chihuahua, as well as trio litters of even smaller pups that little mommies and daddies can nurture. In addition, primping accessories such as hair styling tools and multiple fashion outfits can be purchased separately. Found at Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, or KB Toys, the new toys offer the enjoyment of role-play, while not having the commitment of dog ownership.

Completing the official puppy plush ownership, you can also have a child register her puppy online by visiting www.beverlyhillspuppyclub.com where you can also find info on the breed, and other fun facts.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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