It’s a scene straight out of a Christmas special: Thrilled children open a bow-bedecked box and pull out a wriggling puppy that eagerly licks their noses. But in real life, adding a new member to the family should be approached thoughtfully—not sprung on everyone on a day when excitement is already at fever pitch. When it's time to welcome a puppy, you'll want its introduction to its new “pack” to be as calm and unstressed as possible.
Better idea: If you've decided that a dog should be in your family's future, give your kids a box containing puppy essentials, such as a leash, food bowl, collar, and toys. Then go down to the local animal shelter to adopt a new dog a week or two later, when everyone can focus on the new addition.
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