All of us are familiar with the typical Hollywood movie scene where children gather by a fireplace and a tree to open presents early Christmas morning. There’s one special gift waiting to be unwrapped. It wiggles and whines. The kids’ faces light up with joy as they discover there’s a puppy wrapped in a big red bow… just the puppy they’ve been begging for all year from their parents. This scene, replayed in many a holiday themed films gives most people the warm and fuzzies inside. And why shouldn’t it? There’s nothing like a furry little puppy… until it turns into a nipping, peeing, pooping machine.
If you are considering giving a dog to a special person this holiday season, there are some important things to consider.
- There are a lot of shelter dogs in need of loving homes year-round. If you are considering a dog for someone, don’t bypass the shelters where you may find the perfect match, whether it be a puppy or an adult dog.
- Not every dog is the one and not everyone is ready for a dog. It’s best to leave the decision of whether or not to adopt a dog to the person who will eventually be the primary caretaker. You can still retain an element of surprise in your present without actually gifting a live dog. Gather together a basket of necessary dog supplies and insert a gift certificate to a shelter. Let the person pick out their own dog to ensure a good fit.
- When considering giving your young child a dog for the holidays, understand that kids could and should share with you the responsibility of caring for a dog, but it is ultimately the adult’s job to make sure the dog’s needs are met. Ask yourself if YOU are ready for a dog.
- If considering a puppy for your family, remember that depending on the breed, the dog will most likely grow larger. Make sure you don’t make an impulse purchase that may eventually weigh 100 pounds.
- Before bringing home a dog, make sure that you can support the dog financially. Especially in these economic times, you want to be careful to budget for food, medical care, training (which is a necessity, not a luxury, if the dog is to remain a nice family pet) and fun items like toys.
- Consider the time investment you will have to make to give this dog an enriching life. You need to be able to provide adequate exercise and socialization.
- If you’re to make an addition to your home, confirm that all family members are in agreement that this is the right decision… that includes the other pets in the house. Ensure that any potential dogs get along with your resident cats and dogs.
- Get started on training right away. Don’t wait to teach your new family member the proper manners.
For dog training in Brooklyn, Manhattan, or Queens, feel free to reach out to me. I’d be more than happy to help integrate your newly adopted dog into your home.
Here’s wishing you a happy holiday!