A dog for Christmas?

We’ve all seen those cute photos on Instagram of adorable puppies wearing a big bow and sitting under the Christmas tree. But is getting a dog for Christmas a good idea? Yes and no! While you should NEVER get a dog as a gift without consulting the recipient, the Christmas break can be the perfect time to welcome a new dog.

Greyhound Rescue volunteer Margot says, “Getting a dog is a big commitment for the whole family. Before deciding to get a dog, make sure that all members of the household are on board and willing to welcome your new hound to life in the family home.”

“Lots of greyhounds haven’t set paw in a home before,” adds fellow volunteer Shelley. “Time off over Christmas break is a good opportunity for new owners to introduce greyhounds to pet life and give them a chance to get the hang of things before going back to work.”

Ruth Elliott, a dog trainer and behaviour consultant from Formal Dogs says, “Probably the biggest benefit of adopting a dog during the holiday season is time! Summertime also means daylight savings. Extended daylight gives extra chances to take your new greyhound out for walks in the morning or evening when the air and ground are cooler. Short local walks can be a great way to introduce your new dog to your home environment and surrounds.  If the weather is not suitable for walking, then spending time learning new skills, games and tricks are other ways of bonding and providing environmental enrichment opportunities.”

Bringing a rescue greyhound in to your family needs some planning, so what should you consider before bringing your dog home?

Make sure that you have the basics on hand such as food, bedding, bowls, and an appropriate leash and collar, and that you’re prepared to give your new friend a gentle introduction to the real world of life with a loving family. Remember that pet life is largely unfamiliar to a greyhound, who may have come straight from kennels, so plan some activities to guide them through the transition to pet life.

“Dog proof your home prior to their arrival,” advises Sharon Moore from PetCarers  “Secure the Christmas tree so it cannot be pulled over and hurt them. Ensure all medications/cleaners and so on are in lockable or child proof cupboards. Are electrical cords such as tv cords and Christmas lights secure and where they can’t be chewed? Ensure there are no toxic plants. Get down on the floor and see things from their perspective, this insight will amaze you.”

A dog can bring so much joy to the family, and a forever home is the perfect gift for a greyhound this Christmas. With careful consideration and some forward-planning, the summer holidays can be a great opportunity for settling and bonding with a new pet.

Thinking of giving a home to a hound? Check out how to adopt!

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