You’re getting a puppy! Firstly, “Awwwww!” Secondly: have you thought about how to prepare your home for a new puppy? Have you shopped for your new arrival? And have you made sure your house is safe for your new addition? “The core of it is that they want to spend time with you. Their day is made when they see you and socialise with you. You can get them the fanciest food and the best treats in the world and the best toys but in the end it is you that counts. Time is what they want from you and you have to prioritise that and give it to them,” says Bondi Vet, Dr. Chris Brown.
Before you bring your new furry friend home, have a look over our handy Pre-Puppy Preparation Checklist.
Shopping for a puppy
- A bed. Choose something that’s cushiony, waterproof and has a machine-washable cover. For your puppy’s first bed, don’t spend a fortune — they may destroy it while they teethe.
- A kennel to keep them safe and dry while outside.
- Hard rubber chew toys to get them through the teething stage.
- A stainless steel or ceramic feeding and water bowl
- High-quality puppy food
- Urine stain removal product
- Treats (which will aid in toilet training)
- A lead, collar and ID tag
- Waste disposal bags
- A car restraint
Thinking about a puppy’s needs
Ok, we get it: you’re excited about introducing your new puppy to your house. And your neighbourhood. And your boss and your friends and everyone you’ve ever met. The health benefits alone are good reason to introduce your new companion, as Dr. Chris Brown says. “Having a furry family member leads to more exercise, lower blood pressure, fewer visits to the doctor, better cardiovascular health and an easing of loneliness.”
BUT, do you know how to prepare your home for a new puppy? Ask yourself a few key questions.
- Where will your puppy sleep? Is the area safe, comfortable and suitable for a puppy? Do you need a baby gate to block off the area at night?
- Where will your puppy be during the day? Is this area safe, comfortable and suitable? Is it sheltered from the elements? Is there somewhere safe to put your puppy’s water bowl? Is there enough room for him to run around?
- When will you feed your puppy, and who will do this?
- Who will train your puppy? Training can be difficult, so it’s often worth going to puppy school.
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Puppy-proofing the house
- Until your puppy is trained, it’s best to put away anything on the floor that’s not furniture. So no house plants, decorations or loose items of clothing.
- To your puppy, wood is for chewing. Protect your chairs and tables with thick plastic sheeting until your puppy is over its teething stage.
- Once you begin to play, make sure you “never throw sticks for your dog to chase. There is a significant risk of the stick splintering and causing damage to your dog’s neck, mouth or stomach,” Dr. Chris Brown advises.
- Remove dangerous objects close to the floor, such as power cords and loose nails, that your puppy might like to chew.
- Check your plants. Some plants can be harmful to dogs — check out this list.
- Ensure poisons — like bleach, household cleaners, rat poison, insecticide and fertilisers — are out of reach.
- Check your fencing for any possible escape routes, and if you have a pool, ensure your puppy can’t make it through the grates.