The holiday season is a time when many people consider giving their children or other family members a fuzzy bundle of joy. It’s hard not to love a wagging tail, warm wet kisses, and the lifetime of love that begins with a new dog or puppy. However, it’s important to take some serious thought and preparation before you bring a puppy home during the holiday season.
While it may be the most wonderful time of the year to consider a puppy, it’s important to think about whether it’s the right time to give someone a furry friend. Make sure to take a few steps to determine if that person is ready to take care of a holiday puppy. Here are four key considerations to explore before giving someone a Christmas puppy.
Ask Yourself a Few Important Questions
The first step anyone thinking of gifting a puppy should take is to make sure the new puppy parent is ready for the responsibility. To do this, you’ll want to ask yourself these questions:
- Is there another dog at home? How well do you think that dog will adjust to a new puppy?
- Will this puppy be for a child? If so, have you discussed this with their parents or your significant other?
- Does the recipient have the time, money, and energy to raise a puppy?
- Does this person have a busy schedule or travel often? If so, would they need additional help raising a puppy (and is that help even available)?
- Can this person commit to love and care for this puppy for the next 10-15 years?
The answers to these questions should help illuminate if a new puppy would make a loving gift. If there are any questions that result in a strong “no,” then a canine companion may not be the best idea this holiday season.
Identify the Right Personality for the Household
Every dog is different, which means some puppies may be a better fit for one family than another. According to Professional Animal Trainer and TV Show Host Joel Silverman, one of the biggest mistakes people make when they get a dog is that they don’t get the right dog for the whole family. As such, you’ll want to weigh a few factors before your give someone a puppy.
One key step is to research what breeds would be a good fit for the household. Various breeds exhibit different traits and personalities, although the exact characteristics will differ from puppy to puppy. You can always contact a local breeder, kennel, shelter, or rescue organization to let them know you’re thinking of giving a puppy to someone and need some advice on best fits. You can also consult our breed library to learn more about different characteristics that would work well with the family’s personality and lifestyle.
Sometimes the best way to figure out if a dog and a new pet parent are a good fit is to have them meet first before they officially join the family. Finding a puppy or dog can be a very personal experience, so you may want to let someone pick out a Christmas puppy instead of choosing one for them. Many breeders, shelters, and rescues even have gift certificates allowing the new pet parent to choose the dog in person or reserve a dog with a deposit.
Pick the Right Moment
Just because you’re giving someone a puppy for Christmas doesn’t mean that they have to receive that furry friend on Christmas. 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, so you may want to make sure the timing is right for that.
Another reason to wait is that winter isn’t always easy for pups. Cold weather can make it a tough time to potty-train, so that may be a challenge if you’re gifting a dog to children or people who aren’t as prepared for training a young dog. In this case, you may want to wait for warmer months or until the recipient is more ready for taking care of a young dog.
If you decide to wait until after the holidays are over but want to tell them at the holidays, there are a few ways you can go about giving someone a puppy. Gift certificates from breeders or shelters are a great option. You can also take a picture of a dog or make a card letting them know that they’ll soon have their own bundle of joy when the time is right.
Do Some Puppy Prep
If you decide that a Christmas puppy is a perfect fit, it’s time to get ready for that furball to come home. Whoever is receiving the dog will need a few basic supplies ready, including the following.
- Puppy food
- Food and water bowls
- A crate/bed
- Puppy-appropriate toys
- Puppy treats
- A leash and collar
- Grooming tools (brush, nail clippers, toothbrushes, etc.)
There are also a few other preparations that can help a new puppy parent. A new puppy will need to have veterinary visits and shots arranged to stay healthy. A gift card to a pet store or a training class is also a nice present alongside a pup. Planning out these details will help ensure that your children or whoever else you give a puppy to this holiday season will have everything they need to transition a new canine companion into the family.
Enjoy a Happy Holiday with All Your Furry Friends
Whether you gift someone a puppy or not, it’s important to enjoy the holiday season with our favorite furry family members. Want to learn more about what you can do to make sure your new family member is happy and healthy year-round? Join the Puppy Club today to receive special training tips, informative articles, and members-only discounts on Bil-Jac products.