Like having a baby, there is so much you can do to prepare and feel confident in yourself when your puppy arrives. It helps to learn about puppy training, how to puppy proof your home/space, and understand what you will need before brining your puppy home.
Preparing for your new puppy: A complete checklist
1. Start learning about puppy training.
Here are some books on puppy training that you can read.
Learning about positive reinforcement dog training will help you know how to teach your puppy to do what you want. You can also reach out to a local professional dog trainer to help you with puppy training.
A lot of professional dog trainers will offer “Puppy Prep” coaching sessions, where the trainer comes to your home to help you set up. They typically check the property and set up inside, making sure it’s puppy safe. They will make suggestions like where to keep the dog's crate or sleeping area, how to puppy proof the house and talk about what are the most important things to train first.
Click here to find a professional dog trainer in your area.
2. Puppy proof your house!
Just like baby proofing! Imagine only being 8 weeks old. Your puppy is going to be teething and will chew on almost anything. Some puppies are bigger chewers than others. Your puppy is not going to be fully toilet trained and, in fact, that is one of the first things you are going to focus on teaching. By puppy proofing your house, you are on the road to success and less stress with your puppy.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Roll up and remove rugs. Your puppy will be likely to pee on them and they are hard to clean. Roll them up and put them away until your puppy is toilet trained.
- Any precious items should be out of reach of the puppy (e.g. that antique wooden chair that your great great grandfather made). Take it out of the area where the puppy will be until the puppy has gone through the teething / land shark stage.
- Close doors so that your puppy doesn’t have access to the whole house right away. When you first bring your puppy home, it is a good idea to not give them access to the whole house right away. Firstly, it’s a lot to take in. Remember your puppy has just left her mum and siblings for the first time ever and is in a brand new strange place. Secondly, your puppy is not toilet trained! Anytime they are inside, they must be supervised and taken out on regular trips to the designated toilet area (grass usually). If you can’t see your puppy, it is likely they are going to go potty somewhere you don’t want them to.
- Try to go around your house where your puppy will go and look for anything the puppy could hurt itself on. Exposed wires, toxic plants, harmful foods and household poisons need to be securely and safely stored away. (Told you it’s just like baby proofing!)
- Make sure your yard and fencing is totally puppy proof. If it is not, keep your puppy on leash and supervise when you are outside. If you have a deck that the pup could climb under and get trapped, it's a good idea to put a barrier up so that you don’t have to go crawling under the house to retrieve your puppy on adventures.
- Choose your puppy safe zone. Somewhere that you will designate for your puppy to relax, play and sleep in. Anytime you are not able to supervise your puppy they should be in their puppy safe zone. Again, just like with a baby, you will soon realise that your fluffy little shadow wants to follow you absolutely everywhere. To the toilet, the shower. Puppy pens, baby gates, and crates help to set up a puppy proof / puppy safe zone. It helps to spend a lot of time teaching puppies to love being in their puppy safe zone and teaching them that alone time is calm time.
To make sure your house and garden is puppy safe check these resources by Pet First Aid New Zealand. You might be surprised to find out what New Zealand plants are not safe for dogs. Familiarise yourself with these resources so that you are confident your house is puppy proofed.
3. Shopping time!!
It can be overwhelming trying to figure out what to buy for your new puppy, so we have put together a list to make things easier:
- Dog Crate to suit the size of your puppy.
- Puppy pen and/or tall baby gate.
- Training pads and poop bags.
- Choose a comfy harness - make sure it is the right fit for you puppy.
- Plain collar (no choke chains, slip collars, etc). You can also get a cat collar with a bell to help you know where the puppy is.
- Puppy line (choose a really light weight long leash)
- Water bowls and food dish
- Chew toys that your puppy can nibble away on.
- Give them different textures, colours and shapes like this Yours Droolly Mallard Duck or Rabbit toy.
- Or try a rope toy - the longer the toy is, the further your fingers will be from those little land shark teeth.
- Interactive food puzzles/toys like the KONG Stuff'n Mini Snacks or KONG Tiltz.
- Food specific for growing puppies.
- Treats with healthy, natural, high meat content like Love'Em Liver Puppy Rewards, Royal Canin Educ or Yours Droolly Chicken & Mackerel.
- Treat pouch and/or a clicker (optional) for training time.
Bringing a puppy into your life and family is certainly one of the most exciting things you will do!
If you have any questions or would like some more guidance about what you will need for your puppy, don't hesitate to reach out to one of our Customer Service Experts on 0800 200 240.