The festive season seems to have arrived with the usual decorations in all of the shops and those tear-jerking Christmas adverts that make you think of family, gifts, and food. However you choose to celebrate the party season; it can be a magical time of year, especially for the kids. After becoming a parent, you’ll probably start to enjoy Christmas once again as you get to experience it through your little one’s eyes.

However, you’ll also need to think about the organisational; elements of the day; including gifts, food, family politics (if the in-laws are over), and ensuring that your household has a festive, fun-filled day they’ll remember with a smile.

If you and your family have been thinking about getting a pet dog for a while now; Christmas time could be a great opportunity to introduce your new family member into the home. Obviously, this must be a carefully considered decision, and whether you’re heading to a reputable breeder or a rescue centre for your new dog; you’ll need to ensure that your house is fully set up for the crucial first few months together.

You need to put the pup’s welfare first and ensure that they’re not too overwhelmed, and you have all you need at the ready to take great care of your new canine companion. The following are some ideas, tips, and advice for those who are considering bringing a new dog into the family over the festive period, and want to ensure they’ve considered everything they’ll need.

Comfort

The first few nights and even weeks away from where your new puppy or dog is used to will be challenging for them, and you. Puppies will be missing the rest of their litter and their mum, so are likely to cry. This is definitely something to consider if you wanted a quiet and restful Christmas. Perhaps it’s best to give yourself enough time with your new family member before the big day, or you can let the kids know that a canine companion will be part of your household in the new year, but reveal it on Christmas morning.

Whenever you decide it’s best to have some sleepless and noisy nights, and bring pup home; you’ll need to ensure that you create a cosy space for them to snuggle up in.

Dogs enjoy taking themselves off to the equivalent of a den so that they can relax and go to sleep. Therefore, corners of rooms and darker spaces, underneath furniture, are great areas to set up their bedding. There are an array of dog beds out there; start off with a modest size that’s affordable as your dog will no doubt outgrow it’s bed eventually. It’s worth having a few towels and blankets for your pooch; whether they are a puppy or an older dog, they might chew through their covers and blankets, so it’s always good to have affordable spares that you can replace things with.

All the bedding should be machine washable; your pup may have accidents, especially in the beginning, so the easier it is to clean them, the better. Just like any member of the family; you’ll want your pooch to feel comfortable and safe, so bear that in mind when you’re creating their bedding area and provide plenty of soft surfaces and a cosy surround for them to snuggle into.

Their comfort will also be affected by the noise around them, especially over the festive season when you have kids running everywhere and guests visiting. Therefore, their bed should be in an area where there is low household traffic; this will help reduce any anxiety your pup has and will make sure they don’t get too overwhelmed.

Health

It’s always worth going to talk to your local vets before you bring your pup home; another reason that Christmas Eve might not be the best time to sneak them into the house to hide for the next morning. You’ll need to register and microchip your dog as soon as possible. New pups should have already had some of their vaccinations, but you’ll need to take the paperwork in so that everybody knows when their next ones are due. Rescue and older dogs will need a thorough health check so that they can receive any medical attention and treatments needed.

Organise all of their check-ups, treatments, prescriptions, and insurance straight away; you’ll ensure that your dog is well looked-after, and it’ll give you peace of mind over the festive season.

Just like with kids; it’s worth having plenty of items in the home that will allow you to deal with certain issues yourself, without the need for an expensive trip to the vets. Treatments like Advecta flea med for dogs are handy to have so that your pooch and the rest of the household won’t be itchy and scratching over the turkey dinner.

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to dog fleas and worms, so make sure that you’re keeping on top of their treatments, and keep an eye out for the symptoms of both. Being vigilant regarding your dog’s health is a great habit to get into, so that should any issues arise (and just like with kids they might); you can sort out the problem as effectively as possible.

Training (for the puppy and the family)

Training your puppy or dog needs to begin as soon as they enter the home so that they can begin to understand exactly what’s expected of them and how to behave. They are going to do things wrong and may be naughty now and again (if you have kids; you’ll be used to that), but it’s crucial that you remain consistent and firm. It might be tempting to allow your new furry friend to sleep in the bed with you over Christmas to stop them crying.

However, this will only make training them to stay downstairs or any crate training that you decide to implement, all the more time consuming and challenging. Therefore, you need the humans in your household to be on the same page and to carry out instructions as consistently as possible. It will take patience, but information will soon sink in, and your new dog will become a beloved and obedient member of the family in no time.

Liked this post? Want your say on what games I review or feature? Take control of the future of 16-Bit Dad by supporting on Patreon!