Christmas is also a well-known time for people to get pets for their loved ones as Christmas presents.

Although this is not a trend or idea, we recommend we thought we would write a post to ask you to really think about it and give you some things to think about before going out and buying a dog as a gift.

1. Does the receiver of the gift know what you are thinking?

Although presents are meant to be a surprise, something you may think is a thoughtful and nice idea may not be that of the receiver. Have you ever sold on a gift you got for Christmas because it was unwanted? An unprecedented number of dogs end up in rescue each year in the months after the Christmas period. Don't let this be you!

2. Have you taken into account the cost of food alone?

Depending on the size of the dog is dependent on how much you will need to feed them. According to rover.com a dog's food can cost anywhere between £20 - £145 per month making the annual cost between £230 - £1,740 per year. Is this an expense you can afford? If not, it's probably best to buy a teddy.

3. Insurance is a must for many reasons, although the cost of insurance is highly variable, it is thought that the average cost for a month is around £34.47 according to money supermarket.com, that's a whopping £413.64 on average per year including food already amounts to approximately £2,153.64 per year.

4. Vet bills are also something that needs to be considered. Vaccinations, flea and worming treatment, consultation fees and unexpected illnesses need to be thought about. Depending on the illness it may not be able to be claimed on insurance if it comes under your excess, meaning it will be another unexpected payment. Like with everything in the UK at present, prices aren't cheap and something that you will all need to include into your thought process and costings. Just for routine care alone, flea and worming, vaccinations and annual checks, Battersea dogs home average statistics are £312, taking the yearly total of what we have discussed so far up to £2,465,64.

5. Training is something, I of course, would always recommend. It is a great way to build a relationship but to ensure your dog grows into a well-mannered and sensible member of society. Although many people think training is an unnecessary expense it will be much cheaper than a fine because you have been considered in control of a dangerously out of control dog by law. Training classes can be a great way to get you started off on the right foot and help to guide you into raising your new dog appropriately.

6. Don't forget about the start-up costs as well. The crate, a bed, a collar, tag, microchipping (Although this should already be done from a good breeder), lead and bowls etc are all things that you will need for your new dog. Battersea put out an average start-up cost of £230.

So far, the average cost of owning a dog is £2,695.64 including the start-up costs.

Is this something you can afford? Are you ready for the commitment, training, care that owning a dog involves?

If at any point when reading this, you have felt worried or any element of doubt. Don't do it! instead, volunteer for a local rescue, walk a friend's dog, volunteer at local training classes. Think before buying a dog as a Christmas present.