How to Have a Happy New Year with Your First Puppy

holiday decorations Holidays

If you got a puppy in time for the holidays or received one as a gift on Christmas, congratulations! You have at least a decade of canine companionship to look forward to!  As you learn how to train your puppy and take care of his daily needs, you’ve probably noticed that puppy-proofing your home when […]

If you got a puppy in time for the holidays or received one as a gift on Christmas, congratulations! You have at least a decade of canine companionship to look forward to! 

As you learn how to train your puppy and take care of his daily needs, you’ve probably noticed that puppy-proofing your home when there are holiday decorations and a Christmas tree was unusually challenging. 

The upcoming New Year celebration could also pose safety hazards and stressors for your new puppy, which is why the experts at Petland Texas have put together this key list of safety tips and tricks to ensure that you have a Happy New Year with your first puppy! 

Be sure to read to the end of this article, because we’ve got some great puppy gift ideas, too, that we don’t want you to miss!


By now, you’ve probably noticed that the Christmas tree in your home holds a special kind of allure for your puppy. Your puppy doesn’t see a symbolic holiday decoration when he looks at a Christmas tree. He sees countless sticks and branches, toy balls, and chewy materials that would feel oh so good to gnaw on. 

Unfortunately, your Christmas tree poses the greatest safety hazard to your puppy during the holiday season whether it’s a real tree or a fake one. Real trees possess an added layer of danger, however, because their needles are poisonous to dogs. 

Another tricky aspect is that a real Christmas tree will gradually die, causing the needles to rapidly fall off. These can get stuck in your puppy’s paws, which can hurt your furry friend, and if he eats them, the consequences range from nausea-and-vomiting to a trip to the vet.   

There are a number of precautions you can take to protect your puppy from the hazards of a tree, and the easiest solution is to fence-in your Christmas tree. By using play gates, you can prevent your puppy from accessing the tree. Our favorite is the Steel 8-Panel Configurable Dog Gate & PlayPen from Frisco. 

What we love best about the configurable gate is that it can serve as a playpen for your puppy once it isn’t being used around your Christmas tree. Also, while you have it up throughout the holidays and New Year, you can decorate it with puppy-safe holiday accents. 

By using a gate like the one from Frisco, you can keep your puppy at a safe distance from all those “delicious” wires that are connected to the outlet.  


Have you given some thought to how you’re going to spend New Year’s Eve? You might not want to leave your puppy home alone during this festive, evening celebration. But if you do, we recommend leaving your puppy for no more than 3 or 4 hours. 

If you decide to go out, be sure to set your puppy up with everything he’ll need in his playpen. We don’t recommend that you allow your puppy to roam freely while you’re gone, unless he’s proven he won’t become destructive in your absence. 

New Year’s fireworks, music from the neighbor’s, street parties, and other sounds can greatly disturb your puppy, especially when you’re gone. So it’s important to be mindful of the various stressors that could freak your puppy out. In the instance when you’re home, you can comfort your puppy. 

But what if you’re planning on hosting your own New Year’s party? The first point we’d like to make is that hosting a party is perfectly alright, but it shouldn’t be the kind of party you used to throw before you got your puppy. Loud music, loud guests, and unattended snacks and drinks are all going to be problems for your puppy.

Puppies are most sensitive to loud noises. If you host a party, keep the volume of your music relatively quiet. Will your guests be coming and going? Will they enter and exit certain rooms, or step outside from time to time? Your puppy could become disturbed by the sounds of slamming doors. Try to troubleshoot potentially noisy occurrences, like doors opening and shutting, by keeping interior doors open and perhaps leaving signs on the exterior doors that ask people not to slam doors.  

Puppies can also become intolerably anxious when they’re exposed to too many new people. Who will your party guests be? And how many guests will attend your party? Puppyhood doesn’t last long at all, and next year your puppy will be a dog and able to better handle strangers and noises. This year, if possible, you might want to keep the attendance low and limit the number of new people at your New Year’s party.

Lastly, it’s very important to know that alcohol, chocolate, grapes, and even avocados are poisonous to dogs. You might not be able to change the menu at your New Year’s party, but you can tell your guests to never leave their plates and drinks unattended.  


And now for a couple gift recommendations that we know puppies love. Starting the New Year with the right toys for your puppy can help his development and socialization. These puppy toys are also excellent sources of entertainment for those periods of the day when you’re not able to play with your puppy.


Kongs are one of the most popular dog toys among puppy parents because Kongs give puppies something to chew that also stimulates their intellect. If you’re unfamiliar with the Kong, it’s a rubbery chew toy that you can put a doggy treat inside. Your puppy will smell the treat, and in order to get it, he’ll have to “pinch” the rubber in just the right way. In the meantime, he’ll have a ball chewing and throwing his Kong around, because it bounces!

Kongs come in a variety of colors and sizes, too. The price ranges from $12 – $25, and since it’s easy to clean this toy, they tend to last a very long time. 

Interactive Dog Toys 

If you only get your puppy one gift to kick off the New Year, we recommend getting him an interactive dog toy. Our personal favorite is the Nina Ottosson Interactive Dog Toy, but there are tons of interactive dog toys on the market that you can choose from. 

The Nina Ottosson Interactive Dog Toy is actually a “series” and each toy is a puzzle that has its own “level.” The puzzle of each level provides both mental and physical stimulation, and the levels are designed for the dog’s ages. Level 1 is geared towards puppies, and the higher the level, the older the dog should be to solve it. No matter what the level, the objective of the game remains the same. Your puppy must remove the “bones” from the tray to uncover treats. 

You can find these puppy puzzles for roughly $15 on the Nina Ottosson site we mentioned above, but do a little price hunting first. With all the post-holiday sales going on, you might be able to find a deal! 

How are you planning on spending New Year’s with your puppy? Don’t tell us you don’t have a puppy yet! If that’s the case, come into any of our Petland Texas locations and we’ll help you choose the perfect puppy breed for you!