Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s time to start getting into the Christmas spirit and tackling the gift shopping list. One thing we definitely won’t be getting for our loved ones this year is a puppy. While that may shock you at first, hear us out!
As fun as it might be to surprise someone you love with a furry friend for Christmas, getting a pet is a huge decision that should not be taken lightly and certainly is not one that you should make for someone else. Getting a pet is a long-term commitment of time, emotion and finances. Too many dogs end up in shelters or on the street because their family cannot care for them. If the recipient isn’t completely prepared for owning a dog, it won’t truly be a gift. Even if the recipient has expressed the desire to have a dog, choosing their new furry best friend is a decision they should be involved in. Do they have allergies and need a hypoallergenic breed? Do they prefer large dogs such as Great Danes or do they want a smaller pup they can carry around? There are many options to consider when getting a dog and it’s essential to be sure the right fit for the new owner.
There are circumstances where surprising your family with a puppy might be right; such as, children who have demonstrated responsibility and longed for a pet in the family, or you’ve talked in detail with your significant other about adopting a fur baby. Keep in mind that, even so, introducing a puppy to a new home on Christmas Day can be an overwhelming and stressful situation for both the humans and the puppy. The new smells, sights and sounds, and not to mention the new people, can be a lot for a puppy to take in all at once. It will make for a far easier transition if your potential new pet, and everyone in the household, has the opportunity to interact ahead of time to be sure he or she is the right fit for your family.
If after reading this, you are still thinking about adding a puppy to your family this holiday season, consider one of the following ways to successfully surprise someone without the potential of a Christmas morning disaster. Here are some fun ideas that can be just as exciting as an actual puppy under the tree:
- Wrap a box containing adorable pictures of puppies and a note that says, “Let’s go pick out the perfect furry friend together!”
- Wrap boxes containing dog toys, dog food, a collar and a leash. When they open these items, you can share the news that you’re excited to help them bring home a new pet.
- Present a gift certificate for puppy obedience class.
- Purchase a dog crate and a put a few toys inside. When you put a big bow on top and slide it under the tree, your family will definitely know what’s in store!
By doing one of these fun ideas, rather than putting a puppy under the tree, you’ll end up extending the excitement of Christmas a little while longer. Everyone in your household will be so excited for the opportunity to pick out the perfect dog together. This can be extremely impactful with small children, too, as it will give you time to explain that owning a pet is a big commitment.
If, however, you truly want to have your new puppy join the family on Christmas morning, here are a few ideas to make the surprise a safe and positive one:
- Do not put the puppy in a gift box! Even if there are sufficient air holes, a small, dark enclosed space can be terrifying to your new puppy. Consider putting a bow on top of a crate — you’ll want to have one on hand anyway.
- Keep noise and energy levels calm, especially with young children. Try not to overwhelm the puppy with too much too soon.
- Have everything you need on-hand including a crate, toys, puppy food, a leash and collar, and bowls. Pet stores will be closed on Christmas day so don’t get caught off guard without all the necessary supplies.
Whether your new puppy comes home on Christmas Day, or if you simply surprise your family with the plan to get one, Train Pro Dogs can help ensure a very merry Christmas through safe and effective puppy training.