Everyone loves a wagging tail, warm wet kisses and the lifetime of love that begins with a new dog or puppy. With that said, not everyone is ready and able to receive a new best friend as an addition to the family or as a gift at the holidays. This is a busy time of year to bring a new pet into a household.
There are four important steps you should take before adopting a puppy yourself, or as a gift for a loved one at the end of the year.
1. Things to Consider
What is your/their lifestyle like? Are you/they active or home-bodies?
If you are considering a dog for a child, have you discussed this with the heads of the household?
Are the time and the money it takes to raise a puppy available to care and provide for this wonderful new life?
Do you/they work? Travel often? Would additional help raising a puppy be needed during those times?
Been considering a puppy or dog already? Or will this be a new idea to them?
Can a commitment to love and care for this puppy for the next 10-20 years be made?
Cold weather is a tough time to potty train. Is another time of year better or is a little cold and snow okay during training early in the morning and late at night?
If you have considered these basic questions and feel confident a new dog is in order, there are a few more issues that will help make the process go more smoothly.
2. Proper Research & Planning
It’s important to research what breeds would be a good fit. Consult our breed library and other online sites to learn about the features and characteristics of a breed that would work well with the family’s personality and lifestyle! Contact a local breeder, kennel, shelter or rescue organization and let them know you’re thinking about a dog for yourself or giving a puppy to someone, and gather their advice about the breeds you are considering. Many breeders, shelters and rescues offer a gift certificate toward a dog the new owner can pick out themselves or will hold a dog with a down payment.
3. Be Prepared!
A new dog or puppy will need a variety of items to start: toys, food, treats, a crate/bed, brush, collar, leash, shots, veterinary visits and lots of love! A book or two with common tips about the specific breed, training tips like how to teach your pup to sit or other fun puppy facts can help acquaint the owners with their new best friend. A gift card to a pet store or training class would help get the new owner on the right track and learn to raise a well-behaved dog. When the new puppy comes home, it is important to have key needs covered ahead of time.
4. Pick the Right Moment
Particularly around the holidays, normal routines can go by the wayside in lieu of holiday parties, decorations and time with friends and family. A new puppy or dog should be brought into an environment with a routine. Be sure the timing is right for that. You can take a picture of the dog or make up a certificate the person can unwrap at the actual gift time. Holding off on bringing the dog home until the time is right is key. When he/she arrives, be sure to establish a routine for walks, playtime, training and feeding!
If you decide to bring a new puppy home this holiday season, learn more about how to best bring him into his forever home with our helpful hints. And most importantly, give lots of love to your new four-legged friends this month and every month!
Did you ever receive a puppy as a holiday gift or know anyone else who did? Share your story with us in the comments below!