Everyone loves a wagging tail, warm wet kisses and the lifetime of love that begins with a new dog or puppy. But don’t forget, not everyone is ready or able to receive a new best friend as a holiday gift. While it may be the most wonderful time of the year to consider a puppy, it’s important to think about all that is involved with a new dog in the household and keep in mind how hectic the holidays can be.
There are four key canine considerations you should explore before adopting a puppy yourself or for a friend or family member.
Questions to ask
To make sure you or the person the new puppy is for are ready for the responsibility of being a dog parent, ask yourself these questions:
How busy is your/their lifestyle? Are you/they active or home-bodies?
Do you/they already have another dog at home? How well do you think that dog will adjust to a new dog in the home?
Will this puppy be for a child? If so, have you discussed this with their parents or your significant other?
Are the time and money 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? If so, is additional help available?
How long have you/they been considering the idea of a puppy?
Can a commitment to love and care for this puppy for the next 10-15 years be made?
Cold weather can make it a tough time to potty-train. Is another time of year better or is a little cold and snow not problematic for you/them during training and early in the morning or late at night?
Can you babysit a friend’s dog for a few days to experience the responsibility of a new family member first-hand?
Once you’ve considered these basic questions and feel confident a new dog would make a loving addition, there are a few more areas to address that will help make the adoption process go more smoothly.
Research the breed
It’s important to research what breeds would be a good fit for the household. 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 to let them know you’re thinking about a dog for yourself or giving a puppy to someone. Be sure to gather their advice about the breeds you’re considering. Many breeders, shelters and rescues have gift certificates allowing the new pet parent to choose the dog in person or reserve a dog with a deposit. Finding a puppy or dog that you will spend the next couple of decades with can be a very personal experience.
Do Some Puppy Prep
When the puppy or dog is ready to come home, you’ll need the following basic items to be ready, including: toys, food bowl, water bowl, dog food, dog treats, a crate/bed, brush, collar, leash, shots, veterinary visits and lots of love! It can also be helpful for new dog parents to read upon information about the specific dog breed/breed mix they will be adopting. Some puppy training tips, such as how to teach your dog to sit, will also be helpful as the dog makes the transition into a new family.
Another thoughtful purchase is a gift card to a pet store for supplies or a training class to help the new dog parent learn how to raise a well-behaved dog. When a new puppy comes home, it is important to have key needs covered ahead of time.
Pick the Right Moment
Particularly around the holidays, normal routines can go by the wayside in lieu of holiday parties, decorations and time with family and friends. A new puppy or dog should be brought into an environment with a routine and less chaos. Be sure the timing is right for that.
If you decide to wait until after the holidays are over but want to tell them at the holidays, you can take a picture of the dog or make a certificate the person can unwrap when it’s time for presents. Holding off on bringing the dog home until the time is right is important. 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/her forever home with our helpful hints. And most importantly, give lots of love to your all your four-legged friends this month and every month!
Want to learn more about what you can do to make sure your new family member is happy and healthy year-round? Join the Best Friends Club today to receive special training tips, informative articles, and members-only discounts on Bil-Jac products.