Bad idea: A puppy for Christmas
A puppy under the tree is a bad idea
We've all seen the adorable commercials/movies/ads that show the giant box under the tree with the air holes. And it moves and it whines, and an adorable puppy climbs out to the delight of everyone - especially the angelic little boy or girl who wanted nothing more than a puppy for Christmas.
But ask anyone who shares a birthday with a major holiday - it's not all it's cracked up to be. More often than not the birthday gets lost in the shuffle, minimized, or neglected.
Getting a puppy is an important event all by itself. And any dog's first day with a new family is going to be stressful for everyone. The best time to get a puppy (or dog) is when things are calm - not in the tumult of the holiday season.
Good idea: All the things a puppy needs!
Preparing a "Puppy Preparation" gift is a fabulous idea! Let that adorable child know that a puppy is on the way! Include all the supplies the new puppy will need - a collar, leash, bowls, toys, a bed, and a good training manual so the entire family can be prepared to greet the new family member.
Think of all the things you'll need
- Bowls (food and water)
- I.D. Tags
Puppies are adorable!
And they deserve to be the center of attention when they join a family - at least for a little while. It would be nice if puppies came into our lives knowing all the rules, fully trained, and ready to take their places in the family.
Unfortunately - they don't. Puppies require lots of time and attention and the more they get at first, the less they require later.
By all means build excitement and anticipation about adding a new family member. And plan for that puppy's arrival as an event on its own, not part of a larger joyous celebration.
The center of your life - is what your puppy deserves for a few days
Puppies and dogs become integral members of our lives and our families. Their arrival should be the most important thing that happens that day - and possibly for the whole week or month. Puppies are delightful, mischievous, adorable, and a whole lotta work. Enjoy the holidays without the stress of a new family member. Let puppy's first Christmas with the family be when you've had him for a while - and everyone will be able to enjoy the chaos and joy.
Deciding on the right dog for your family
It's a great idea to get children involved in preparing to welcome a dog into your life. All puppies are adorable. But the dog that puppy grows into will be a member of the family for many years and it's a good idea to do some research and find the breed of dog that's the best fit for your lifestyle, family, and home.
Questions that should be considered:
- Do you live in the city? suburbs? country? How much space will your dog have to run and play?
- How many hours will the dog be alone every day? Can you afford either a dog-walker or doggy daycare?
- Does anyone in the family have allergies or asthma?
- Is anyone partial to a particular breed of dog? Does that breed make sense for your family?
- How much time do you have to exercise the dog? Is a couch potato better suited to your lifestyle, or are you looking for a jogging companion?
There are some websites that have breed recommendations based on your answers to these and similar questions:
Once you've decided on the right breed for you - do your research and find a healthy, well-bred puppy from a reputable breeder. There are only two good ways to get a dog - either adopt from a shelter or rescue, or go to a good breeder. Websites, pet shops, and newspaper/shopping site ads are all outlets for disreputable puppy-millers, exploiters, and frauds.