Puppy for Christmas?

It seems that every holiday season brings the “must-have” toys or gifts for kids, but there is one that tends to be a perpetual crowd-pleaser: a puppy.

Sienna and Buddha from CutieandtheBeast

And if your kids want a pup this year, you may want to first consider the following six tips to help find the ideal pup to join your family. Dr. Yasmine Mortsakis, DVM, Director of Health & Wellness at NY Vet Practice, which offers full-service veterinary care at Biscuits & Bath, and Biscuits & Bath Behavior Counselor Tito Rivera advise:

  • Consider your child’s age. Puppies are a lot of work, and families with small children should consider adopting an older dog, as these pooches are already trained and make great companions.
  • Be mindful of your child’s temperament. Companion breeds are usually a better choice for small children or children with disabilities. Also, regardless of the breed, small children tend to do better with calmer dogs.
  • Supervise puppy play. Before their first interaction with the new pup, children should be taught the proper way to handle and treat their new four-legged friend. Interactions between a dog and a young child (under 10 years) should always be supervised by a responsible adult.
  • Be prepared to train your new pup. Keep in mind that there will be an adjustment period for your new dog while he/she gets acquainted with its new family, and most dogs will need some level of training upon entering a new home. The Biscuits & Bath Training and Behavior Department offers a complimentary phone consultation prior to getting your new pup. This is an important first step that can lead to many years of enjoying your dog successfully.
  • Visit a vet ASAP. It’s important to the long-term health of your new dog to get him/her a veterinary exam early on. Then schedule annual checkups to maintain good health. NY Vet Practice offers a complimentary phone consultation prior to picking up your new dog.
  • Adopt from a shelter or pet rescue. So many loveable dogs are abandoned, and they are in need of a good home and make great companions. Also, most of these dogs have already had their behavior evaluated, so you can more easily find the dog that’s the best fit for your family.
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