Be prepared for the arrival of your new canine member of the family. You’ll feel more confident and relaxed if you get your home ready for a puppy.
There are lots of things to do before you bring home a puppy from a breeder or an animal shelter. Consider your home through the eyes of a curious puppy and make adjustments so it’s a safe and secure environment.
Get your home ready for a puppy checklist
- Take leave from work – it’s a big adjustment for your new puppy to learn how to behave in his new home. If you can, arrange to take a few weeks leave from your work to settle in your new puppy.
- Set the rules – have a family meeting to discuss the house rules for when the puppy arrives. The rules may include the supervision of interactions between young children and the new furry member of the family, roles and responsibilities of each family member; and where the puppy will sleep.
- Puppy access areas – decide on the areas of the house that you are going to allow your puppy to access. Install baby gates or block access to other areas such as the baby’s room.
- Puppy-proof inside your house and the backyard by removing poisons, electronic gadgets, loose cords, chewable items such as your new shoes and the TV remote control. Check out our list toxic plants for dogs.
- Find a sleeping area inside for your puppy that is away from high traffic areas such as the kitchen or bathroom.
- Get a crate to provide a safe, cosy and happy space inside for your pup – provide a dog bed, favourite toy and chew in the crate. If you have children or visiting children in your home, the crate provides a safe place where your pup can be left in peace.
- A kennel for the backyard will also provide a safe space for your dog.
- Bedding – provide a comfortable bed for sleeping at night (which may be in the crate) plus a spare bed in another location inside the house for your dog to rest. Give your pup a few choices with beds located around the house for rest.
- A puppy playpen is a great way to train your pup to settle and help him learn to accept being alone from the very start of their introduction to family life. You can get a purpose-made puppy pen or a children’s playpen. The playpen should have a bed, a bowl of water, chew toys and a toileting area with a piece of turf or newspaper.
- Have pee pads ready to help with toilet training. You’ll also need an odour and stain neutraliser that also removes the pup’s pheromones such as ‘Urine Off’.
- Get a puppy collar, ID tag, lead and a harness for car travel
- Buy a few toys designed for – puppy chewing, food dispensing toys for mental stimulation; and for play with you such as a tug toy.
- Puppy school – research your local area for a good puppy school with a trainer qualified in positive reinforcement methods. Ask to observe a class.
- Research your local area to find a veterinarian
- Have food and water bowls. Buy high-quality food specially made for puppies.