How to prepare for a new puppy coming home
Congratulations! You’ve made a decision that will enrich your life for a great many years to come.
And lucky puppy… you want to bring your new puppy home and give him or her the best opportunity they can have to settle (otherwise you wouldn’t be bothering to read this!)
Now you have decided to get a puppy and found a good place to get them from, there are things you can do to start to prepare before they arrive. If you’re like me, you want to keep busy so the time passes and that puppy is arriving quick!
You'll want to buy all the things they will need.
Some are obvious, some less so but our essential 15 items for bringing your puppy home include:
A crate and/or bed
It is really important that your pup has their own space. Whatever your preferred option, a crate, bed or both, make sure that no one else goes into this so they always have this space to go to when wanting their own quiet time.
We recommend these Fabric crates as they double up as an ideal solution for travelling in the car
Our new Teddy beds are proving popular with Puppies right now but we have a whole range of different types of beds to suit you and your pup
How ever many blankets you think you’ll need double it! You cannot have too many and they are great to throw on their bed (one with mothers scent is perfect), on the sofa, on your know, in the car and so on. And they need washing too so spares are always needed.
Take a look at our blankets – from small to large. We recommend the Snuggle Pup blanket as a sumptuous high quality blanket that doesn’t fade after it’s been washed as the perfect first blanket
So you have the bed and the blankets but how would you love to know your puppy never feels alone? The Snuggle Puppy has been developed to do just that and millions of dogs over the past 20 years have had their Snuggle Puppy friend with them from day 1 at home. Owners tell us how much they have helped them settle and minimised their anxiety when left in their bed at night or when they pop out.
You can read more around the Snuggle Puppy here
Food and water bowls
Pretty important to feed your little one. Many puppies can be greedy so it can be helpful to offer them food in a simple slow feed bowl if they are greedy, like this one.
Your vet or breeder will be able to advise you on what is best for your puppy but make sure it is one designed for puppies as adult food has a different composition and won’t provide everything they need.
Collar and tag
As well as something you need a collar and tag are now a legal requirement in the UK. We love the Smart Pet ID tag as this offers a place to store all information on your pup and up to 4 contact numbers should your pup take a wander and someone need to get in touch with you.
Collar’s come in all different types and designs. A small pup will not want anything too wide or hard as they need time to get used to wearing a collar, particularly if you are going to attach a lead to it at anytime. Our favourite is the Kiwi Walker collars as they are strong but flexible and have the safety catch on to prevent any mishaps with the fastener.
Harness and lead
It isn’t compulsory to use a harness with a dog on a lead, but many owners now do to protect their dog’s neck and make it more comfortable for you, the owner. There are many different types so do read around each one and decide what suits your puppy’s breed and body shape.
Here’s our strong harness shown here on a Welsh Springer Spaniel pup, their owner like the way this doesn’t rub around their joints.
Car restraint or carrier
Depending on how you plan to carry your dog when they go in a car will depend on what you need.
If you are simply wanting them to sit on the back seat, then a simple car seat belt is all you need and this can be attached to their harness (never attach to their collar as this could seriously hurt your dog when you stop suddenly). You may also need a back-seat cover to shield your car from dog hair and mud!
Alternatively use the crate as described above in the boot of your car.
Lots (and lots) of toys
Yes….lots! You really can’t have too many. But what are the best types for your puppy?
In reality all! A selection of toys with different textures, noises, sizes will offer the best stimulation for your puppy. Make sure there is a teether in there as this will be needed in the first few months as they shed their baby teeth and grow their adult canine teeth. A great selection can be found here.
And lots of toys around the house will offer them things you want them to play with and chew, throw around, preventing them from picking up your best pair of shoes or anything else precious that may be within their reach! So as I say… you can’t have too many toys!
Puppy pads for toilet training
Very handy and a great way of teaching them if they have to go they go in this spot.
Start as you mean to go on…. Use compostable poo bags so they environment is looked after for future dogs and dog owners. These poo bags can be composted in 6-12 weeks rather than the plastic versions that take 15-20 years!
A brush or comb for grooming
Depending on your dog’s coat type choose a brush that offers a gentle way of getting your pup used to being groomed. And do this daily for a while so it is not something you then have to introduce them too when they are older and more suspicious of new things!
I intentionally don’t use the words toothbrush and toothpaste as there are other options. A toothbrush is another thing to get them used to. Doing this regularly will really help in the long run. But there are alternatives like these dental pads which allow you to clean teeth and be gentle in the process. If you use a toothbrush these are ideal as well when your pup is teething as can offer a bit more comfort when their gums are sore.
They’re going to get messy, muddy and smelly at some point. So find one suitable for your dog’s hair/fur and ideally an organic one.
Get your home 'puppy' ready
Okay so this is a biggy but can make such a difference in settling in your new pup. It’s not about changing your home, just small adjustments that will make it better for you and for them.
- Your puppy’s sleeping area – a crate can be great to give them a secure base to explore from. Make sure it is in a quiet place where they won’t be disturbed or in the way, with lots of blankets and bedding to keep them warm and comfy.
- Plan where your puppy will eat. This should be in a different place to their sleeping area. Make sure you’ve got somewhere to store their food that they can’t get to it when it’s not dinner time! A high cupboard is the best bet.
- Consider putting in baby gates if there are areas of your home you don’t want your puppy to go. Set clear boundaries for your puppy from day one as it’s very confusing if they’re allowed to go somewhere sometimes but get told off or prevented at other times. Agree this with all members of the family to give your puppy consistent messages.
- Secure your garden to make sure your puppy can play safely outside. Make sure there is nowhere they could squeeze through or dig under a fence and check for poisonous plants.
- “Puppy proof” your house. Just like when a child starts to move, make sure anything that could be harmful to your puppy is kept securely out of their reach. Look out for cleaning products, cables and anything else they can chew that they shouldn’t!
- Speak to your local vet so you know what treatments they will need as well as how much these cost. Make sure you register your pup at this point too
- Find a puppy training class you can register your pup with and agree a start date with the trainer to suit your dog’s age and their schemes.
- Find puppy socialisation groups you can take your pup along to. It’s important once your pup is allowed out and about you socialise them as this can prevent anxiety in your dog in later life.
So if you’ve done all this you’re ready! And hopefully it’s not long now until your pup arrives. We’d love to hear how your pup is doing at home, so please share on Instagram or Facebook, or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy every minute with your pup and enjoy treating your dog!