Though you’ve done your research and found the right breed to fit your lifestyle – AND found the perfect puppy – why is it wrong to find a furry friend under your tree?
The holiday season is the worst time of year to bring a new puppy into your home. A puppy needs a great deal of attention while you establish the house rules. You can’t housebreak or obedience train a puppy in a day or two while you’re off from work.
Puppies are a lifelong commitment. If you are both to be happy, you must get off to a good start. That takes time, and time is something most of us have very little of during the holiday season.
You must pay close attention to a new puppy, not shut it in a spare room (where it will likely get into mischief) while a party is going on in the next room.
You must teach your puppy that meals come from a bowl at regular intervals, not from the buffet table or your guest’s hands.
Your puppy must also be trained to know the difference between the trees outside and the decorated one in your living room.
The time you spend in your puppy’s early life will set the tone for your lives together. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to properly educate a puppy when your schedule is hectic. Dogs can’t read our minds. We must teach them to coexist with us.
If your family really wants a puppy, start with a book or two about your chosen breed and basic care and training.
Instead of a puppy, wrap a bowl or collar and leash as presents for the post-holiday puppy, since you’ll have to buy them anyway. After the holidays, you’ll be as ready for your new puppy as the puppy will be for you. Celebrate the arrival of the new addition as you would celebrate a birthday or anniversary – a special day, deserving of its own recognition.
Plan ahead and be prepared. You’ll be rewarded with a shorter period of adjustment and a more secure pet – in an environment filled with love for many years to come.
Pet Tenders Petsitting owner Roz Brennan is a graduate of the Veterinary Technology Program at Morehead State University and is a registered animal technician. She may be reached at (502) 451-3270