Will your puppy or dog have as much fun as you hope to at Christmas and on other big holidays? It’s up to you.
If you are getting a new puppy, Christmas morning isn’t a great time. Kids are excited, presents are being opened, maybe you are leaving the house for a church service or having a big chaotic brunch with other family members. This is not a scenario that leads to careful attention to the little puppy’s fitting into your family.
Later in the afternoon or the next day would be a better time to get the new puppy. Of course, if the puppy is for someone who lives alone and will be alone on the holiday, then the puppy might be just perfect. But never give a puppy as a surprise.
What about the puppies or dogs already in your family? If you will be having guests over, be sure to take the dog for a walk or otherwise give him enough exercise that he’ll be more relaxed. If chocolate candies will be out, remember that chocolate is harmful to dogs and can even kill them. If the dog is friendly and will not jump up too much, he can take part in the festivities, but someone needs to be sure he doesn’t slip out the door when it’s open.
If you will be taking your dog with you to a friend or relative’s house, be sure you have his leash and that someone in your family is the designated dog-watcher. If the dog will be staying home while you go out to party, leave him in a safe place, perhaps with a Kong stuffed with goodies to while away the time. (That link takes you to a page where I describe this versatile toy.)
Of course, all these tips are true all year round, but sometimes in the excitement of festivities, we forget them.
Happy holidays to your dogs, your other animals, and you!