A Howliday to Remember
By Lynn Whittaker
Bow Wow University
With the holidays right here, a parent’s thoughts can lead them to the vision of seeing their children’s faces light up as they greet their best gift ever… A puppy, complete with a bow around its neck, staring adoringly at its new family. This would make a priceless family portrait but might be better suited to the family book of what not to give.
When you bring a new puppy home to your family, the puppy should arrive in a quiet environment, where everyone is prepared for the puppy. For most adults, the holidays keep them on the go with very little downtime or quiet time, and for children they may eat more sweets than normal, creating extra energy, and they may be absorbed in all their new toys, allowing the puppy to fall by the wayside for a while. That is a recipe for a puppy who may become a bit overwhelmed and even more, forgotten because of all the commotion.
The puppy needs time to adjust to its new environment, less the hustle and bustle of aunts, uncles, distant family members, loud conversations with Grandpa and Grandma, children running about the house, etc. This puppy will not know the best places to go to in the house, and as a result, they may end up getting under feet, and potentially injured.
Your new puppy is going to need an immediate schedule, for food and potty. He or she should have a quiet and secluded environment to go to such as a crate. The holidays are anything but calm, and the potty schedule will quickly be ignored to prevent the dinner from overcooking, or guests from being entertained.
Keep in mind that the opened candy boxes, the lights, ornaments, menorahs, ribbons, and numerous cords are a tantalizing buffet for a puppy to sink his or her teeth into. Puppies have also been known to knock trees over, eat mistletoe, poinsettias and do a whole host of other unspeakable things.
The time of year is also an important factor. Winter is never the best time to housebreak a puppy.
Humans don’t like the inclement weather, and neither will your new puppy. It will be much easier to go in the house on your Persian rugs. Puppies have enough trouble regulating their bladders never mind adding the weather into their recipe for potty training.
Pet stores push to sell puppies that may have been acquired from puppy mills. The staff may be offered commissions based on the sales of the puppies, regardless of breed or a person’s ability to care for it.
Does this mean that a puppy is out of the question? Absolutely not. Just keep in mind whether this is the right time. After the holidays are over many rescues are inundated with puppies that have grown up, and they have lost their appeal to their owners. Consider rescuing one of these pets. When you adopt, you can bring your family great joy as well as saving a life. It’s a gift that gives twice!