What You Need to Know Before Getting a Dog for Christmas
As excitable as the gift of a puppy is, a new dog for Christmas should never be an impulsive decision. A dog isn’t a toy that can be cast aside when the next shiny new present is opened. The gift of a pet takes thoughtful deliberation.
After all, a puppy represents an addition to your family. Your new four-legged child deserves the same kind of care and attention as an adopted baby. Be prepared to give your love, devotion, patience and when necessary, your forgiveness. Provide special puppy food for a young-un or extra treats for an older dog. Keep everyone safe.
Regardless who in your house gets a dog for Christmas, all the tasks associated with dog ownership apply. Training and managing expectations — for all concerned —are priorities. Plan on spending time teaching the proud new puppy owner how to care, feed and love the new addition to your household.
Upsetting the Balance
Keep in mind that you’re not the only one whose daily routines are going to be turned upside down. Your new pet has to undergo a major transformation as well. Young pups are facing an existence away from their mommies and litter-mates perhaps for the first time. A dog of any age may not know how to respond in a strange, new environment, especially with a house full of holiday guests.
Keep the house as calm as possible for the first few days. It may take you and your family a few days to figure out how to adjust to the new arrival. Consider “unwrapping” your dog for Christmas a few days before December 25 —especially if your Christmas mornings typically erupt in chaos, like so many homes steeped in tradition.
Training Begins Before You Get Through the Door
Before the dog comes home, define a schedule for walks and potty breaks with your family. After you get a dog for Christmas, sticking to the schedule helps speed the house-breaking process. It also reduces the chance of accidents.
Give the dog time to get acclimated to the new surroundings. Untrained puppies go through a series of exciting moments, especially with young children in the house. Any of these moments can lead to an accident on the carpet. To prevent unwanted surprises, here’s what to do:
- Before you even go inside for the first time, put the leashed dog on the ground.
- Stop at a spot where you plan on taking your pooch to do his business.
- Wait until he does it.
The Behavior of a Dog for Christmas
Your new family member needs attention to relieve the anxiety of moving into a new home. But you mustn’t neglect other pets that already live with you. To ease their transition into the mix, shower all your two- and four-legged family members with equal amounts of love.
Let your new doggie explore at will when he arrives. He wants to sniff out every corner and every cranny in every room. Let it happen. If you’ve got a room you keep pet-free, close that door and don’t let your new pup inside.
A new dog for Christmas may have a number of distasteful habits to relieve anxiety. Take away as many temptations as possible to help make the transition as smooth and discipline-free as possible:
- Hide electrical cords
- Keep poinsettias and other harmful plants up high
- Close your closets and keep your shoes out of reach
- Pick up small toys and other objects that aren’t specifically meant for pets
- Spray or cover furniture legs with chewing deterrents, such as bitter apple
Introduce your new pup to his crate very early after his arrival, so that he won’t cower at bedtime. Fill it with new chew toys and a comfy bed like the luxurious dog beds at Canines Styles.Crate training isn’t punishment.
Prepare and Protect Your Pup
As friends and family visit over the holidays, they may be tempted to shower your new pooch with the attention that riles more than comforts him. Your puppy may be better served by snoozing in his crate in a quiet back during big gatherings. Bring him out when the loving is a little calmer.
Stock up on the treats, toys, leashes, collars and leads you need for your dog for Christmas. You and your new pooch can have fun over the holidays as you get to know each other. And if you and your family want to go dog-wild, include your new pup in the fun with holiday stockings, treats and themed coats, collars, and sweaters.