This is a collaborative post.
Bringing a new dog home is an exciting time for everyone but it shouldn’t be done on a whim as there is a lot of preparation to do!
Choose a space
Having a specific place for your new pooch is the best way to help them settle in well. A place away from major footfall in the house is ideal but be sure not to isolate them as dogs are generally very sociable.
When it comes to furnishing the space, a box bed is a great choice as they are high walled which helps your dog to feel safe when they sleep. You may instead want to opt for a crate if you are planning on crate training your pooch, which is advisable, particularly if there won’t be someone in the house to keep an eye on them 24/7.
Make sure that there are plenty of things in their space to keep them entertained, such as chew toys or snuffle blankets which will reduce the risk of them chewing on your furniture when they get bored!
Prepare the family
If you have kids, they are likely to be incredibly excited at the prospect of the new addition to your home. However, you should prepare them for your dog’s arrival by teaching them how to interact and act around them, particularly if they aren’t animal savvy. Even the friendliest dog breeds need space at times, so you should teach your children to approach dogs slowly and calmly and model this in your behaviour whenever possible.
Getting a dog is a great way to teach your kids some responsibility too, so consider what duties you want your kids to be involved in such as walking the dog before school or feeding them in the evenings. These chores can be tailored around your children’s ages with older ones having a bit more responsibility, so sit down and make a list with them!
Puppy proof your home
As with any animal, dogs are very inquisitive so you should make sure that your house is free from anything that could harm them if they manage to chew or eat it. Unfortunately, this will also include plants, many of which can be highly toxic to our furry friends, including lilies, daffodils and bluebells. Another essential item to consider is a dog tag as a pet identification accessory, often personalized with their contact information. It will help ensure their safety if they get lost or wander off.
You should be sure to unplug or move any electrical cords that could be chewed as they can cause burns and electrical shocks, and keep all small items out of reach that your dog could choke on.
In the garden, ensure that your fencing is secured as dogs are great climbers as well as diggers and keep slug pellets and weed killers locked away. If you are buying products to keep your outdoor plants alive, opt for ‘pet-safe’ varieties which will cause less harm if ingested by your dog.
For new puppies, you may consider using an extendable pen so that they have a safe space to play, especially if your garden isn’t ready yet.