Post from: http://northamerica.covetrus.com/resource-center/blogs/animal-health/animal-health/2019/12/12/your-puppy-s-first-holiday-season
Celebrating Fido’s First Winter Holiday Season
As a pet parent, there is nothing sweeter than a puppy celebrating his first holiday season. From his first romp in the snow, to pictures with Santa, there’s plenty of memories to make between Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s. With a little preparation, you can ensure you and your puppy have the best — and safest — first holiday season.
Keeping Puppy Safe
Check out our tips to pet-proof your holiday décor. These precautions are especially important with a playful puppy in the house.
When opening gifts, be mindful of where your puppy is in the room to keep him out of danger. You may need to keep him on a leash, or open gifts on a table. Give your puppy his own gift to keep him occupied and out of the boxes, wrapping paper and bows.
I’ll be Home for the Holidays
If you’re traveling with your puppy in tow, plan ahead to be sure the adventure will be equal parts fun and safe. Make frequent potty break stops during the drive. This will also allow your puppy time to burn off energy. Gently speak to your puppy and show him that being in the car is normal and not a time to play.
Don’t forget to pack his crate, treats and toys to help keep him distracted. When visiting friends and family, help them to puppy-proof their home by placing dangerous decorative items out of the puppy’s reach.
Scout out a local veterinarian, just in case. Do your best to keep his routine — including walks to keep your puppy well behaved in the midst of excitement.
The holidays are filled with celebrations and gatherings, and this can be a great time to work on your puppy’s door and party manners. When guests come and go, keep your puppy away from the door. This is an easy time for your puppy to run out the door and get lost or hurt. Teach him to sit and stay, before saying hello to guests.
Your puppy wants to enjoy the party too. His curiosity may get the best of him though. Have guests put their shoes and other belongings up and in a safe place, so your puppy doesn’t harm himself and your guests don’t go home with a chewed-up suitcase. Large gatherings can be overwhelming to a puppy, so give him quiet time away from the hustle and bustle to rest. Keep the engagements as positive as possible and reward your puppy for appropriate behavior when practicing impulse control and interacting with guests.
Just like with a baby, you’ll probably want to document your puppy’s first holiday, and what better way to do that than with a seasonal picture with the jolliest old elf. Many pet stores and malls offer picture opportunities with Santa. Some owners opt to dress up their pup in a cute costume or holiday sweater, but your puppy’s comfort is key.
This may be your puppy’s first time dealing with a crowd and many other pets. Work on basic commands like “sit” and “down” to help put your puppy at ease. Consider going at an off-peak time when it may be calmer.
Give your puppy a moment to greet Santa before trying to get your puppy to look at the camera. If you walk away and stand behind the photographer, chances are your puppy’s gaze will follow you and then he’ll be looking at the camera.
If going to the mall or pet store is too much for your puppy, consider setting up a seasonal scene at home. Not every pet — or puppy — is suited to go out and get a picture with Santa.
We wish you a happy holiday season as you celebrate with your puppy. Covetrus North America is dedicated to advancing the world of veterinary medicine. Visit us online or contact your Covetrus representative at 855.724.3461.