Preparing for a Puppy

Choosing a puppy as an addition to the family is one of life's absolute joys. But with that tiny fluffy bundle comes enormous responsibility. Do you have the time to care for, feed, train, walk and play with a new puppy? Can you afford its food, paraphernalia and healthcare over the course of its life? Is your home suitable - particularly for large, or active breeds? You also need to take into account legal and healthcare obligations, and remember, first and foremost, you will your puppy's carer, teacher, companion and safe haven. For life. 

A new puppy will be part your family for many years. So think carefully about which kind of dog you'll be able to live with – and can live with you. Think about its size, exercise needs, personality, type of coat and whether it sheds, is it good with children and/or other dogs? Will it need a garden? What will you do when you go away?

To help you, we've created a handy Breed Selector. Try it now to pick the perfect pooch for your home.

Your new puppy is a mini adventurer. Here are some tips for keeping him or her safe in their new home.

  • Keep all household cleaners, insecticides, fertilisers and other poisonous substances in cabinets or on high shelves. And keep the toilet lid closed.
  • Remove dangerous objects like dangling electric cords, loose nails, plastic bags, sharp objects, tiny objects or other potential hazards such as harmful plants and foods (see "Food to avoid")
  • Beware of long drops. Keep your pup off balconies, upper levels and high decks where they could slip through openings and fall.

Puppies need their essentials just like the rest of us. Here are a few for starters:

Bed - Puppies are prone to little accidents, so go for a cushion style with a water-proof, removable and machine washable cover.

Kennel - If your dog will spend a lot of time outdoors, his kennel is his safe zone, to comfortably sleep, eat, rest and stay dry. They can also help with housebreaking your puppy. 

Toys - Go for hard rubber chewing toys that can stand up to sharp, gnawing puppy teeth. And old favourites like balls and stick-shaped toys.

Bowls - stainless steel or ceramic bowls will last longer than plastic ones and are less likely to harbour bacteria. A very large dog may need a self-filling water bowl.

Plastic dog bowls are less expensive, but they develop tiny scratches that can house bacteria, cause infections and trigger puppy acne. So you are better off buying stainless steel or ceramic bowls.

If your puppy is a small dog breed, a large bowl is fine for water. But if they are going to sprout into a large or giant dog, you could consider something bigger that constantly fills.

A high-quality puppy food is essential for your dog’s health, development and growth. Learn all about what, when and how much to feed your dog in our nutrition section.

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