The packages have been opened and the wrapping scattered. The turkey has been carved, the cranberries and mashed potatoes passed around the table, and the chestnuts roasted on that open fire.

And for many families across the country, a new bundle of joy is busy wagging its tail at the foot of the tree – just happy to be a part of it all.

The holidays are winding down, and you have a new pet in the house.

Now what?

Of course, pets are incredibly popular gifts during the holiday season. And while it’s always a good thing when an abandoned or homeless animal gets a new lease on life, many veterinarians are quick to remind prospective gift-givers about the commitment and responsibilities involved. Surprising mom and dad with a dalmatian might sound like a phenomenal idea, for instance, but caring for a new pet might not be a commitment they want.

But for those families who have done their due diligence, researching the health and care needs of various breeds, reading up on proper accommodations, and preparing for the various associated costs (spay/neuter, vaccinations, wellness care, etc.), becoming a pet parent can make the holidays even brighter.

Still, once the excitement has simmered, the guests have gone home, and the clock ticks 12 on Jan. 1, you’re still a new pet parent with a new pet in the house. And they’re looking to you for guidance.

What do you do?

We have a few ideas:

  1. Socialization: Mixing in with other dogs is a great way for your new pup to build confidence. Puppies can begin socialization and daycare as soon as they begin receiving vaccinations. A fecal test is also mandatory. Green Acres welcomes pups as young as 8 weeks of age, helping them learn how to successfully engage with a larger world while setting them up for future successes.
  2. Choose a Qualified Pet Care Partner: Even if you’re a work-from-home pet parent, there will ultimately come a time when you need to head out for the day or even longer. Ensuring that you have a trustworthy and reputable caretaker for your new pet is paramount. The best daycare and boarding facilities offer pet parents’ peace of mind and plenty of hands-on (paws-on?) interaction. At Green Acres, our doggie daycare program provides dogs with the exercise, attention, and TLC they crave when they’re away from home, and it’s all delivered in a safe, secure environment staffed by skilled professionals who are passionate about their jobs.
  3. Establish Safeguards. Pets can be curious, particularly during the holidays when there are things in the home that aren’t normally there. Being careful with placement of candles (and other heating sources) and holiday plants like Poinsettias, etc. is always a good idea.
  4. Provide Shelter: When temperatures drop, be sure to take your pets out on a leash or supervise their bathroom breaks to minimize time spent in the cold. Finding new ways to entertain your pet indoors can be fun. Need to head out to run an errand or attend a work meeting? Green Acres’ doggie daycare offers plenty of fun and exercise in a secure, climate-controlled facility.
  5. Prioritize Skin and Coat Care: Chilly weather can wreak havoc on a dog’s skin. Baths aren’t necessarily a bad thing, and moisture-rich shampoos and conditioners can even reinforce the health of your dog’s skin. Green Acres’ grooming professionals can help your pet feel and look its best.

Having a new pet in the house after the holidays will be an adjustment – but an amazing one. And with plenty of chilly days between now and spring, you can spend that time warming up to one another (and planning all of those great trips to the park).

Green Acres will be happy to help you settle in and provide whatever assistance you require. Veterinarian-owned and operated, our resort treats all guests like a member of our family, and our team works diligently to ensure every pet left in our care gets plenty of attention in a safe and welcoming environment.

New guests get a free night of boarding or a welcome day of play. Call us at 608-889-2100 to learn more.