All she wants for Christmas is a new puppy
When someone close to you really, really wants a puppy, it can come as a bit of a surprise. For many of us, this is five stages of grief type stuff: denial, anger, bargaining…. Once you’ve done all that work to get to the acceptance stage (i.e., puppy shopping), it’s only natural to get fixated on the fun part - putting the little bruiser in a box and making the person you love really really happy.
But before we bask in the light of your thoughtfulness, there’s a few things you can do now that will ensure your house is ready for all twelve days of Christmas with a new puppy. Is it December already? Time to get started.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a particular breed or running on instinct, there are two big things to consider before you ask how much is that doggy in the window:
- Lady needs a tramp. Because many pet stores are still connected with large-scale puppy mills, adoption is fast becoming the number one option for new puppy shoppers across the country. Track down a local shelter or rescue group this holiday season, and prepare your heart to grow three sizes.
- Purebreed, please. She always did have discerning tastes. If your loved one has a pure-bred dog in mind, you’re going to want to make time to find a local breeder and visit their facilities. And remember, if it’s a good, responsible breeder, they’ll be screening you as much as you’ll be screening them, so come with your ideas and questions about puppy care and, if it’s relevant, a note from your landlord and veterinarian.
Picking out the perfect dog can be hard emotional work - but that’s only the beginning of your gift. This the part where you really roll up yours sleeves and show the world who’s Head Elf.
- Get a note from a vet. If you’re getting a purebred dog, ask your breeder to recommend a great veterinarian. Otherwise, there are some good online tools that will help you track down a local veterinarian. The goal here is to schedule your new pet for a complete check up before the big day. Imagine the effect when your puppy crawls into her new owner’s arms with a handwritten note attached to her collar reading: “She’s perfect! Call me any time!”
- Outline a wellness plan. Seeing a vet can also help you answer a lot of fundamental questions about your pet from ideal diet and living arrangements to training tricks and ID tag options. Age, size, breed and background can all be factors in selecting the best food, crate size, and exercise regime.
- Stock up on the essentials. Hitting the mall the day after Christmas can be a drag. Ordering some essentials now can prevent needless errands and help protect prime bonding time between your pup and his new parent. Think food, water, potty, hygiene, entertainment and exercise.
The hard work is done, now it’s showtime. Here’s a few ways to think outside the box on the “morning of.”
Lastly, a word of encouragement...
- How’s my breath? Nothing says he thought of everything like a freshly shampooed dog with a bow on his neck and peppermint breath. Not that your spouse would look a gift-pup in the mouth….
- Focus the fun. Revealing a new toy for your dog shortly after he’s “unwrapped” can help him channel the sensory and emotional overload. Try a Busy Buddy® Bouncy Bone.
- Schedule a family walk. Of course, with a new new puppy this won’t really be a “walk” - unless you carry her! Still a leisurely walk after a big meal can be a good time for bonding and a chance for your new pet to socialize, exercise, get familiar with a leash, even practice coming to you with treats and cues.
Whether your bundle of joy came from an alley in Chicago or a liquorice mansion in the North Pole, he’s gonna be a little freaked out at his new house for a while. Engineering a nice, structured, stranger-free environment in the days ahead can do wonders for his learning curve. So don’t be afraid to be a shut-in! And if you find yourself getting frustrated, remember the “magic of threes”
“Dogs . . . are often in a bit of shock for the first three days
in a new home, and don’t show you too much about who they are until they’ve been there a few days. After three weeks
many dogs have settled in such that they behave as though they feel like they are ‘home’ now, but don’t fit into your routine until about three months
have gone by.”
Have a great holiday, and when you need some new ideas for opening up secure, uninhibited play areas in and around your home--don’t forget about Invisible Fence® Brand!
Tags: and, Behavior, Christmas, Gifts, Holiday, Home, Indoor, Pets, Shopping, Solutions, Training, Tree, Winter