Preparing for a puppy

Preparing for a puppy

If you’re about to become a dog owner, there’s lots to do and think about. Here’s some advice on preparing for a puppy or dog.  

Plan your time

If you work, you will need to take some time off to help your puppy settle in. Even if you work from home, your new arrival will be in need of your constant attention. Puppies are just like babies and need someone around all the time when they are little.

Organise day care

Think about what support you may need as you are preparing for a puppy or dog.

During the first year, your puppy will need to have someone around for much of the time. This can be challenging if you need to go work, or be away from the home for some of the day. Plan ahead so that you can arrange for someone to ‘babysit’ while you are away from the house. This could be a relative, a friend or a professional pet sitter.

Once your puppy has been fully vaccinated, you may want to use doggy day care. Puppies are usually fully vaccinated by the time they are 12 weeks old. As your puppy becomes an adult you will be able to leave them alone at home for some of the day.

Find and register with a local vet

Most vets offer health care packages for dogs. They can help you spread the cost of vaccinations, flea and worm treatments and health checks across the year. It’s also a good idea to get pet insurance. That way, you will be covered if your dog becomes seriously ill or has an accident.

Research local dog trainers

Your puppy will be ready to go puppy school when they are about three months old. This is after they had their second vaccinations.

Stock up at the shops

As well as buying food, toys, beds and equipment for your new dog, don’t forget to stock up for yourself. Once your new puppy or dog arrives, it not might be that easy to pop to the shops. Plan ahead, do a big shop or arrange to have your groceries delivered.

Prepare your puppy

A few days before you pick up your puppy, take a toy or blanket along to the breeder. Then remember to bring it home with you when you collect your puppy. The toy or blanket will have a familiar smell. This will help your puppy to feel more settled in their new home.

Prepare yourself

The reality of having a dog can come as a bit of a shock to first-time pup parents. Puppies don’t sleep through the night and need to be trained to sleep, just like babies. You can expect to have some sleepless nights. Toilet training is hard and you should expect lots of accidents to begin with. Do you enjoy your weekend lie-ins? They are likely to become a thing of the past.

There are, of course, many great things about having a dog. But in the early months you may struggle and experience something called the post puppy blues. Things will get easier as you settle into a routine and adjust to life with a dog.

Read Helen’s story: I had new puppy anxiety

Get new puppy advice delivered straight to your in-box

Subscribe for free to the Our Family Dog Puppy’s First Year email series and we’ll send you regular emails with tips and advice to help you care for your new arrival.

What to read next