Preparing your home for a dog

Bringing a new dog/puppy home can be one of the best things in the world (sorry, dog lover here!). But from the dog’s point of view, can be a very daunting experience. We’ve put together a list of things to consider to make sure your pups transition to their new forever-home is as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

Pet proofing your home

This is a must for new puppers, and also older dogs that still require their basic training. It is something you should do before bringing home your new pet. Puppies are renowned for chewing things, it’s how they get to grips with the world around them; so make sure you invest in good quality chew toys and keep a clutter free floor of anything you don’t want to end up in your pup’s mouth. This includes things like electrical wires, shoes, socks and small things like paperclips and rubber bands – that could be a choking hazard.

Secondly, you want to make sure any puppy-sized gaps are blocked off, so they aren’t tempted to go investigate and risk getting stuck. Some examples are: behind sofas, underneath cookers, and gaps in or around any other large household appliances. It is also important to block off the staircase in the first couple of weeks, especially for smaller puppies. Wait until they are a little bigger or have been trained to tackle stair mountain before giving them free roam.

Puppy purchase checklist

  • Crate – Get a size appropriate crate for your dog. Dogs are den animals, so having a safe place to rest will help them get to grips with their new home. It will also keep your pup out of trouble while you are out of the house. You can┬áput a dog bed or blanket in the crate to make it more comfortable.
  • ID Tag – These are invaluable should your dog ever get lost, make sure you contact details are up to date.
  • Microchip – Following on from the point above, it is now law to make sure your dog has a microchip. Be sure to read our guide on getting your pet microchipped.
  • Collar –┬áNylon or soft leather adjustable collars are recommend as you can adjust their size are your dog grows. This is what you attach your dog’s ID tag to.
  • Harness – You’ll need this when you take dog out for walks (make sure they’ve had all their jabs first). These are often preferred for attaching a lead to, as the tension is around the dog’s body, rather than their neck.
  • Lead – You know, for attaching the the harness.
  • Food & Water Bowls – Stainless steel or ceramic bowls are your best bet. Easy to clean and hard to chew!
  • Dog Toys – If you want to make sure your personal belongings aren’t in the firing line, invest in good quality chew toys to keep your canine entertained. Tennis balls are also a sound investment, because dogs just love to fetch!
  • Dog Beds – If your dog isn’t allowed on the furniture, make sure they have a comfy bed to sleep on in the main rooms of the house.
  • Dog Food – Look for a good quality food with healthy ingredients. Research online or discuss with a vet any special nutrition needs for your dog’s breed.
  • Treats – The #1 thing needed for training your new companion.
  • Grooming Kit – Essential for keeping your dog’s coat clean and tangle free. Different coats need different brushes, so check with the pet shop staff for buying advice.
  • Poop bags – self explanatory.
  • Pet insurance – discuss with your vet the health concerns and costs usually associated with your pets breed, and advice on which type of cover to take out. Then head over to Give as you Switch to compare a range of providers and still raise money for charity.

Your dog’s first visit to the vet

Use a find a vet tool online or ask any neighbouring pet owners to recommend a good veterinary practice. Once your dog is familiar with you and their new home, take them for a visit. It’s important to have regular general check-ups to monitor your dog’s health. You can also get advice on worming, vaccinations and neutering. Taking treats along and making a fuss of your dog will certainly help make trips to the vets a fun experience rather than a scary one.