A DOG IS FOR LIFE, NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS
Although we don’t recommend buying a dog as a Christmas gift, we want to make sure you’re best
equipped to welcome your new family member if you do get a puppy around Christmas time.
Around Christmas time, many people are gifted a puppy from their friends or family members. Even if you can’t fathom why, many of these puppies end up being unwanted gifts and are taken to shelters, even as quickly as January. Getting a puppy is a decision that should never be taken lightly. Puppies are a huge commitment that takes a great deal of time, work and commitment to raise into happy, healthy and well behaved dogs. Pets take a lot of work and this often doesn’t fit with people’s lifestyles.
IS THE TIMING RIGHT TO GET A PUPPY?
It is unlikely that your perfect idea of a pet will be born exactly 8 weeks before Christmas Eve (when
you’ll probably pick up the puppy). This means that you are at risk of:
- Settling for a breed that you aren’t familiar with and finding their requirements don’t meet up with your lifestyle
- Settle for a puppy that is displaying health issues
- Settle for puppy breeders that would usually avoid due to red flags
- Taking a puppy away from it’s mother too early which can result in developmental issues
- Taking a puppy that is over 8 weeks old and has potentially missed their critical socialization period. This could lead to behavioural problems and aggression against other pets in the
If a litter has been timed perfectly to be ready to go to their new homes for Christmas, then you should consider whether this is a responsible breeder. A breeder should be aware of the statistics regarding rehoming Christmas dogs and puppies and avoid breeding a little around this time.
A STRESSFUL ENVIRONMENT
Christmas is always a stressful time of year for many. Ideally, your pet should be welcomed into your home during a quiet period that is as stress-free as possible. Introducing them into the family on Christmas Day might be overwhelming to your puppy as there will be so much going on. There are likely to be more family members around making a fuss over them, and lots of children already excited by the big day. This could trigger separation anxieties for your puppy in the future.
SANTA PAWS IS COMING TO TOWN
If you are still planning on going ahead with getting a puppy for Christmas, then please ensure:
- You select a good, reputable breeder that is knowledgeable about the breeder
- You choose an appropriate breed that you have researched and will fit into your lifestyle
- You pick the most confident pup in the litter, as this bodes well for their future socialization skills
- Make sure you don’t purchase from and fund a puppy farm
KEEP YOUR NEW PUPPY SAFE
Your puppy is entering a completely new environment, and will probably want to explore it. Their curiosity can often get them into trouble, so make sure you do everything possible to keep them away form danger.
1. Make sure to keep chewing hazards out of your puppy reach
The Christmas tree, presents and tinsel are all fun new things that could look to your puppy like fun toys. Make sure you puppy-proof your home and keep everything out of their reach. Be sure to keep all chewing hazards well out of their reach. String lights, pine needles and decorations are all items that your new puppy would love to chew on if they get the chance to. These can cause tummy upset, choking and in some cases blockages that require surgery – and having spent so much on Christmas presents and a new puppy, you don’t want to have to fork out for surgery too!
We recommend not having snow globes as part of your decorations when you have pets, but if you do choose to do so, try and place it in a room that your puppy does not have access to. It is likely that your snow globes contain antifreeze which can be fatal to your puppy if ingested. If it is somehow accidentally broken and your curious puppy licks a small amount, they can be poisoned resulting in kidney failure and death.
2. Always supervise your new puppy, especially if there are children present
The children may not yet understand or take cues from the puppy regarding their needs. They may be overzealous and cause your puppy distress or injury. This is especially common in smaller breeds such as chihuahuas.
3. It is essential to try and establish your routine as soon as you get your new puppy during the holiday season, that will continue throughout their life
Please stick to the times that you will take them for walks in the future, and to the same feeding times. You should begin crate training a puppy from the day that you take them home. Crate your puppy in a different room sometimes, even if you are home. You don’t want your puppy to become used to having you around constantly, and then suddenly when you go back to work they don’t know how to handle not having your attention. Crate training from the start will make things easier for yourself and your puppy in the long run.
4. Start their training! It’s a good idea to begin training a puppy with basic commands, and house training a puppy, straight away.
You don’t want to let them have free reign over the Christmas period and then suddenly try to impose rules on them as they may have already picked up bad habits.
5. Make sure to set up their bed (and a blanket from their mother if possible) in a quiet, cosy spot in the house where they can have a break from the chaos of Christmas, whilst still being supervised.
Having the familiar scent from their blanket will help them to feel more calm, and the down time will help prevent them from becoming overwhelmed.
6.We recommend crating your puppy or having them in a different room when the time comes to unwrap your presents. Not only do the decorations on the present, such as ribbon and wrapping paper, pose a choking hazard to your new puppy, but the gift inside could also be a threat. Obviously, with a gift, you’re unlikely to know what is inside so it’s better to err on the side of caution. They may contain small parts or food that your new puppy can’t have, and don’t underestimate how quick a curious pup can be at snapping up something that falls to the ground.
Be mindful that your puppy has never experienced Christmas before, and that they may become
overwhelmed. Look out for these signs:
- Sensory overload
Read our blog post Top tips for keeping your pets safe over Christmas for further information regarding how to keep your pet safe during the Christmas period.
You should also make sure that your puppy is set up for a happy and healthy life beyond Christmas. We’ve made this easier for you by creating Paws Club so that you can spread the cost of your animal healthcare with monthly direct debits.
Paws Club is our monthly preventative healthcare membership that delivers your puppy’s prescription strength flea, tick and worming treatments straight to your door – so you never have to worry about forgetting to administer them!
Members of the Paws Club benefit from complimentary annual vaccinations, annual health checks
and nail trims as well as a host of incredible discounts across our other services – including their
puppy vaccination course. Please, read more about our Paws Club benefits to know more.
Finally, Happy Christmas from all of us here at Paws in the City!