The holidays are a time for celebration, family, and – of course – gifts! While getting an adorable puppy for Christmas may be an exciting thought, there are some things to consider before adding a new furry family member who will be a long-term commitment. We’re sharing things to consider to ensure that getting a puppy for the holidays is a responsible choice instead of an impulsive gift purchase!
The Realities of Getting A Puppy
- Puppies can be a 10-year or longer commitment.
A brand new, few week-old puppy will be tiny and adorable now, but a dog’s lifespan can range anywhere from 10-15 years on average. Think about where you plan to be or hope to be in the future and make sure that owning a dog will align with that vision.
- Puppies are not a one-time fee.
Unlike a new phone or a sweater, a puppy costs much more than the original purchase price. You’ll need to budget for food, supplies, possible training classes, vaccines, and spay/neuter surgery when they’re old enough.
- Your schedule and lifestyle will have to accommodate a puppy for beyond the holidays.
You may have time off now to spend with a new puppy but will you have that same time when you return to work or school after the holidays?
- Puppies can be a lot of work.
While absolutely adorable, puppies aren’t the easiest. A new puppy will need to learn a schedule, be housetrained, be properly socialized, learn basic commands or manners, be crate trained if that’s what you want to do, and be supervised a lot of the time. If you end up with an especially naughty puppy, you may lose a few shoes or other personal items in the process so it’s important they aren’t left alone for too long.
The Benefits of Getting A Puppy
- Puppies promote schedule and activity.
Puppies require a lot of potty breaks and tons of playtime. This is great for keeping you active as well and creating a schedule to your day. Having a puppy can also help with socialization and get you out and meeting other dog lovers.
- Puppies can bring families closer together.
Adding a puppy to your home brings so much joy and can strengthen the bond between you and the other members of your household. Caring for a new puppy allows you to work together as a team and spend more time as family.
- Puppies provide love and companionship.
Best of all, puppies are a source of love and devotion! Having a dog, especially a puppy who will grow up before your eyes, will enhance your life with loyalty, laughter, and endless fun.
Where to Find Available Puppies
Now that you’ve taken the above into consideration, how can you go about finding a puppy (or any aged dog) for you or your family?
Contact your local animal shelter.
Ask your local animal shelter or rescue what puppies/dogs they have available for adoption. Schedule a meet and greet with one that catches your eye, or check visiting hours to stop in and see all available pups!
Search online adoption databases to see all puppies near you.
Finding a new member of your pack can be done from the comfort of your couch nowadays with online adoption databases! Try Adopt-a-Pet or PetFinder – simply enter your location and use the search filters to narrow results down by things like age, breed, etc.
Research and contact a responsible breeder.
If you are looking for a specific breed of dog that you cannot find in a shelter, be sure to do your due diligence when finding and selecting a breeder to ensure that the puppy is healthy.
3 Tips to Care for Your New Puppy
Feed a high-quality diet.
Growing puppies need appropriate vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to thrive and grow properly. Choose a diet with quality ingredients that is complete and balanced for All Life Stages, like Raw Coated Kibble Cage-Free Chicken for Puppies.
Provide adequate exercise and enrichment.
Puppies have A LOT of energy and require physical activity and mental stimulation. Carve out an hour of each day for playtime, make sure your puppy gets enough exercise on walks, and try offering a puzzle toy or other interactive toy to keep them busy and focused.
Train your puppy.
Everyone wants a well-mannered pup but it does take effort and should be started when they’re still young and actively learning. Take time to help your puppy learn basic commands or simple tricks. Learn more about training your puppy.