It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The days leading up to Christmas can be joyous and hectic all at once, as you spend every spare moment you have getting ready for the festivities! There are stocking stuffers to buy, presents for the in-laws to pick out, and what about making sure your tree is decorated perfectly?
With so much going on, the last thing you want to do is drop any of the balls you’re juggling to make this holiday season the best one yet! As you plan, decorate, and meet all of your holiday commitments, don’t forget about your puppy!
In this blog, Petland Kansas City will lay out tips to help you include your puppy in your holiday traditions so that your new furry friend doesn’t become lonely and destructive. After all, big, family-gathering holidays can throw your own daily routine out of order, which will probably impact your puppy.
TAKE YOUR PUPPY HOLIDAY SHOPPING WITH YOU
Nowadays, more and more retailers are welcoming dogs into their stores that aren’t service dogs or therapy pets! By having your puppy accompany you during those long stretches when you’re out-and-about holiday shopping, you can spare him from the anxiety and boredom that sometimes results from being left behind. Not to mention that your cute puppy will surely garner a ton of smiles and pats from the other shoppers!
If you decide to bring your fur baby along, there are important safety tips to keep in mind. Firstly, some retail stores could be crowded. When shoppers are focused on quickly snatching the last products from the shelves, they may not be paying attention to where they’re stepping. Keep your puppy on a short leash, and if possible, carry a large, puppy-tote that you can carry him in if a store is too dangerous.
Our good friends at iPet Kansas City compiled a list of dog-friendly retailers in the KC-metro area to help you plan your holiday excursions with your pup!
ENJOY THE NEIGHBORS’ HOLIDAY DISPLAYS
No one has to tell you that your puppy loves a good walk around the block. But during the holiday season, an evening-time walk through the neighborhood brings with it all the wonder and delights of seeing houses twinkling with Christmas lights!
We all know it can get quite cold in Kansas City, so we recommend that you suit up your pup in a warm winter sweater or puppy coat and booties to keep his paws warm. Booties will also protect your puppy from stepping through ice-melt salt which, if licked and ingested, could make your furry friend sick.
As you walk through the neighborhood and admire the neighbors’ holiday displays, try to be mindful not to be out too long if the temperature is very cold. Your puppy will feel the chill way before you do. It’s a good idea to bring a bag or tote to carry your puppy in if he gets tired. Also, remember that any given walk around the block is a great opportunity for socialization. If and when you encounter other people and dogs along the way, be sure to stop and give your puppy the chance to put all that he’s learned during his training with you into practice!
INCLUDE YOUR PUPPY IN THE KITCHEN
What would the holidays be without Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses, and other sweet treats? Chances are, you’re going to spend some extra time in the kitchen this holiday season to cook, bake, and prepare special dishes and treats for all the parties and events you’re planning on attending. While you’re at it, you can whip up some fun, doggy treats that your puppy will love!
Baking doggy cookies and other treats is a great way to have an on-hand supply of fun snacks to give your puppy so that he doesn’t scheme to snatch the human desserts. Many human foods are poisonous to dogs, such as chocolate, alcohol, avocadoes, and grapes, and the list goes on.
As you host holiday parties and even bring your puppy to parties that aren’t at your home, you’ll have to keep a close eye on him and make sure he doesn’t sneak a taste of anyone’s unattended dessert plate. This is a great opportunity for training and socialization. Reward your puppy with his very own peanut-butter banana cookie or bone-shaped holiday biscuit. Best of all, your puppy will love bonding with you in the kitchen as you bake. It will be his pleasure to taste test the treats!
DRESS UP (A LITTLE) & TAKE FAMILY PHOTOS!
You’ve probably noticed by now that every holiday is a new opportunity to dress up your puppy! Now, the team at Petland Kansas City actually does not recommend that you full-on dress up your pooch every holiday (we’re looking at you, Halloween!) But Christmastime is the easiest and safest holiday for costuming your puppy because you don’t have to do a whole lot to give him that winter wonderland “look.”
Get a puppy-sized Santa hat that’s pet-safe certified and put your adorable fur baby in a festive holiday sweater! It’ll help him stay warm in those drafty rooms and he’ll capture the holiday spirit perfectly!
Don’t forget to take photos in front of the Christmas tree, under the mistletoe, and in front of the fireplace where the holiday stockings have been stuffed with care! You’ll want to remember this moment in years to come because your furry friend will only be a puppy once. Post your holiday pics on social media, include them in your holiday party invitations, and most importantly, don’t forget to tag Petland Overland Park @petland_overlandpark if your puppy is from our location!
There are many more fun holiday activities that you can do to bond with your new puppy and make the holiday season merry and bright for him. Keep him happy, healthy, and making memories with these additional ideas:
- Read a Christmas story out loud to your puppy
- Watch holiday themed movies together
- Organize a puppy party with the other puppies, dogs, and pets on the block
- Wrap Christmas presents together
- Sing Christmas carols and let your puppy howl along!
Are you ready for a puppy? Petland Kansas City can match you with the best breed for you. Stop in our Overland Park location to meet the available puppies who are ready to go home with you this holiday season!