I am not going to do a post about not getting the Christmas puppy because at this time the puppy is most likely booked if not already purchased and I am also not going to assume everyone who gets a puppy for Christmas will want to rehome it by January. So instead my post today is to focus on taking care of that puppy in the early days but especially at Christmas time.
Before puppy comes home:
1 Make contact with your nearest vet: You might think you are picking up a healthy puppy but it has been my experience that many a new owner has found themselves in the vets within 24-48 hours, which for the Christmas puppy is Christmas eve – St Stephen’s day with anything from Ear mites to fleas to horrendous diarrhoea and vomiting.
So be prepared, Know the opening hours, the emergency numbers and have money put aside in case you do need to do this.
2 Have everything set up so that the puppy can settle in well. Just because the pup may be coming as a surprise that does not mean you cannot have your pups sleeping area, suitable toys and food ready.
3 Before the puppy arrives tell the breeder to not give it a worm dose that day, many a breeder will do this in front of new owners in attempt to show how well cared for the puppy is but not only do they have a habit of not dosing them correctly ( I have seen 4kg pups being given a dose for 10kg dog) but pups can become very sick after worming. It is best to wait a few days to do a worm dose or better yet see your vet first. Also make sure you take home the vaccine card but don’t take it as gospel. Again I have see vaccines given to 6 wk old pups that I would only give to 12 wk old pups and if the breeder gave it, they may not have been stored correctly, they could be splitting doses between pups, the vaccines can be expired etc. So don’t assume the pup is vaccinated just because the breeder said so. Best to check with your vet and do not be tempted to walk this puppy and show it off. Pups are exposed to different bacteria from one environment to another and even very clean homes have different types of germs floating around.
5 Make sure to take some food from the breeder to last at least a wk.
When the puppy ” Arrives”.
1 Expect to be woken up by a crying stressed puppy. This is one of the many reasons people are against the Christmas puppy, because people have been working hard and looking forward to their Christmas break but now they have to listen to a puppy cry for the first 1 at least and very soon the ” Cute” wears off.
2 Do not change the food or give Christmas left overs. Under no circumstances. If you bring a sick pup into the vet, you will want to be very clear the pup is not sick from eating something different, toxic or overeating vs a pup who has only had the food the breeder had them on and now may be sick for a different reason. No Chocolate and no Turkey as a definate.
3 Do not let people pick up the puppy. Now that may sound a bit harsh but it costs around 800e for surgery to fix a broken bone, dislocated hip from a puppy with soft bones and joints that fell out of a child’s arms. Down on the floor, a warm safe space to go for down time is the best place for a new puppy.
4 Be very careful of toys that are unsuitable for pups. The temptation for new owners is to buy the pup loads of toys but not everything is suitable, soft cute teddy bears can be ripped, small rope toys can be chewed so fragments of the toy become wrapped around the organs. Chewy treats that can break off or are so bad for dogs they can cause allergies, reactions or even death. So keep it simple, the pups food that the breeder gave them. One of two durable toys such as connectables https://k9connectables.com/ use the code k9special for a 10% discount. The pups own food can be packed into these and semi frozen.
So these are my top tips guys, I am not going to lecture, we are all adults, we have all read the ” Don’t buy for Christmas” articles. Instead I am hoping this article will help you and your pup start off on the right path to a long happy relationship between owner and dog.
Have a great Christmas everyone.