5 Tips for Christmas Puppies
So you’re getting a puppy, or new dog, for Christmas…
The general advice about getting a puppy for Christmas is, “Don’t”, and there are a lot of good reasons for this advice. Having said that, many people do get puppies for Christmas, so if you have decided that this is the right time for you to do this, here are some tips to help make getting that Christmas puppy a joyful experience. These tips are geared towards puppies but can be adapted to suit older new dogs too.
Whether it is Christmas or not, your puppy’s needs will be the same. Before the puppy arrives, be prepared with the basic equipment you will need at any time to make a puppy’s transition into your home successful: crate and/or X-pen, food and water bowls, safe toys (especially toys your puppy will like to chew such as Kongs that can be stuffed with food) and a collar or harness, leash and a long line. If the puppy is a gift for a family member, the equipment can be gifts too, along with a gift certificate for a puppy training class.
Use a timer
Puppies are babies and need routine right from the start. For example, they should be in an X-pen when you can’t supervise them but need to be taken out regularly for potty breaks. When you take the puppy out of the X-pen to go potty, after the puppy has pottied, it gets one hour of supervised free time outside the X-pen. Then, puppy goes back in the X-pen until the next potty break. If you are busy with guests and celebrations and likely to lose track of the time, use a timer to help you keep track of your puppy’s schedule.
Designate who will look after the puppy
Christmas can be a very busy time with extra guests and preparations. Our own schedules can get blown off course, and it’s easy to lose track of time or assume someone else is looking after the puppy’s needs. Have a plan. Take turns and decide ahead of time who will feed the puppy, take it out for potty breaks, and get up in the middle of the night to take the puppy out. Doing this, in combination with using a timer, will help to make sure that your puppy’s needs are met while you enjoy your celebrations.
Remember that everything goes into a puppy’s mouth
Puppies chew. Everything. They explore with their mouths and they are fast. Keep your puppy safe during its free time out of the X-pen by supervising it and cleaning up any mess made by wrapping paper and ribbons immediately. Make sure that all gifts and ornaments, including those on the tree, are out of puppy’s range – you don’t want puppy chomping on a glass ball or tinsel, or a precious gift left lying on the floor.
Puppies need quiet time
Puppies have a lot of energy, but like all babies, they need quiet time and naps. Your puppy may also be feeling overwhelmed. He’s just been taken away from his mom, siblings and everything he knows. Amid all the hustle and bustle of Christmas celebrations, give the puppy time and space, including quiet time away from all the festive upheaval, just to absorb, adjust and sleep.
Getting a puppy is a big commitment but one that bring tremendous joy. Getting a puppy at Christmas can work well with a bit of extra planning on your part. I hope these tips are helpful to you and that your new addition to your family brings you years of joy.
Call us if you would like a consultation on integrating your new puppy into your family successfully!