Is a new puppy on someone’s Christmas list this year? Puppies do indeed make wonderful gifts. They’re cuddly, cute, great pals and recent studies have even proven that pet owners live healthier lives. The choice of getting a new pet is a good one, the question is whether you can handle the many needs of a new canine bundle of joy during the busy holiday seasons. Getting a puppy brings many of the same responsibilities that you are faced with in bringing a new baby into your home in that they will require lots of sleep, quality food, regular vet visits and vaccinations, the right kind of dog pillows and beds, a good dog crate and plenty of toys. One added factor in getting a dog, however, is that those first few weeks after you bring a puppy home are very important in their training and socialization. If their training and care is back burnered for too long, or if bad habits are allowed to develop, you may find yourself with a problem dog. If you feel you can keep up with the puppy’s needs and want to go ahead with bringing them home for Christmas, here are some tips on ways to help the transition go smoothly. First, do your puppy shopping ahead of time. Get your new pet a plastic or wire dog crate, the right type of dog pillows and beds, some good quality dog food (preferably the type they are already used to eating), chew toys, dog dishes and a leash and collar.  Try to limit their interactions with guests to short 10-15 minutes periods and never leave them alone with kids of any age. Make use of their dog crate when they are done interacting with friends, kids or visitors to give them some down time and avoid them getting over stimulated. Last, but not least, be sure to get your new holiday pooch into dog training or some sort as soon as you can, whether through classes, or through you working with them consistently.