A puppy for Christmas! It sounds like a great idea, right? There are countless films where boyfriends surprise their girlfriends with a puppy, or a handsome bachelor realizes the error of his ways and purposes to his love interest on Christmas Eve by giving her a puppy with a big red bow tied around its neck, off which hangs a beautiful diamond ring.
There are two sides to the puppy for Christmas coin. Side A is where everyone involved knows that they want a puppy and are prepared and able to fully take care of another living being. Side B is where a loved one surprises another loved one with a puppy without discussing it with that person or with that person’s family beforehand. The surprise of gifting someone an adorable puppy is great, but you can’t allow that the overshadow the reality of expecting another human being to be able to fully care for another living thing, especially a puppy.
Puppies have a lot of needs; it’s more than just feeding them two times a day and walking them a couple of times. Here’s a list of everything a puppy will need from its new owner or temporary caretaker once he’s been separated from his mother.
The First 24 Hours
The first 24 hours after you bring home a new puppy are a mixture of wonderful and incredibly difficult trials that will make you question whether this was the right decision to make. Your puppy will undoubtedly be adorable and possibly the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, but it will also be messy, sleepy, and scared. Fear is a very real thing for your new puppy at this time. He will be in a new place with all new smells without his mother or any of his brother or sisters. During this time he may cry out and try to find his family, but being properly prepared can make this transition easier.
These needs are why we stress the importance of everyone involved knowing about the puppy before you bring him home. Don’t worry; there are still ways in which you can get the surprise factor you’re looking for. Discuss getting a puppy with the person you intend to get a puppy for a couple of weeks in advance before the holidays. This gives you enough time to determine if your schedules and lifestyle are compatible to taking in a puppy. After thoroughly discussing the realities of getting a puppy, let the conversation drop for a couple of weeks. This way your loved one will still be surprised when you give them their puppy but will also feel secure in the knowledge that you are both fully prepared to give this puppy a wonderful home.
A puppy is a brand new little being of unlimited potential. This adorable, fuzzy bundle of joy will grab your heart and turn your world upside down. But the first twenty-four hours after you bring him home are often particularly challenging. He will be in a strange place with unknown people and may cry for his mother and siblings. You may feel overwhelmed and wonder if you made the right choice bringing him home. It doesn’t have to be quite so upsetting for either one of you though; especially if you’re prepared.
Before You Bring The Puppy Home
Just like human babies, puppies will get into anything they can get their little paws on, so you’ll need to puppy proof before bringing your puppy home. Make sure that any space your puppy will be in has been puppy proofed. This includes placing cords, electronics, medicines, shoes, kids toys, or any other small or chewable items out of reach of your puppy. You’ll need to puppy proof the outside of your house as well. If your puppy is going to be running around in your backyard, you’ll need to make sure that the space is free of harmful items such as dangerous gardening tools and position plants. Additionally, if you have a fenced in yard check your fence for any holes or sharp projections.
Puppies need a lot of supplies. Use the list below to find everything a new puppy needs.
- Water bowl
- Food bowl
- Baby Gates
- Identification Tags
- Cleaning Product (For Potty Accidents)
- Puppy Shampoo
The Ride Home
While the person who picks up the puppy might not be a member of his forever family, they still need to care for the puppy and make him feel safe and secure for the time until he is given to his new owner. Ask the breeder or shelter you’re getting your puppy from to feed him a couple of hours before you go and pick him up. This will help decrease the risk of your puppy getting car sick on the ride home. If you’re going by yourself, then have the puppy ride in his crate on the way home, if you have someone coming with you that person can hold the puppy while you drive. Having a dog in your lap while driving is not only dangerous for both you and your dog but also illegal in most states.