You’re about to get a puppy – you’re probably excited and anxious in equal measure.
You can help settle those new-owner nerves by making sure you’re as thoroughly prepared as possible before you bring home your new puppy for the first time.
Follow our step by step guide to make sure you’re home’s safe and ready for day one with your new puppy.
Step-by-step guide to puppy-proofing your home
Follow these three simple steps to make sure your home's ready for anything your new puppy throws at it.
Step one: Remove dangerous items
Take a look at your home through your puppy’s eyes: if it’s new and interesting, you want to chew it or eat it. Poisoning and eating things they shouldn’t are some of the most common reasons puppies end up visiting the vet.
It’s like having a toddler - everything will be new, exciting and very chewable, so make your home a safe space for them.
With that in mind, go room to room and tidy away toxic cleaning products and dangerous items like smaller toys and sharp items. We recommend buying only non-toxic cleaning products from now on as well.
Check your plants too. Some plants, including a selection of garden flowers, can be poisonous to puppies and cause upset tummies or worse.
Even things like a pack of chewing gum in a bag on the floor could be a danger for your puppy, so keep the floors clear wherever your puppy will be.
Step two: Create a safe space for puppy
Having a crate, puppy pen or gated off area for your puppy will let you focus on training and getting to know them while keeping them – and your shoes, furniture and other possessions – safe.
A dedicated puppy space makes it easier for your puppy to explore their world by themself. You’ll know where they are all the time, so you’ll be able to keep doing what you’d doing normally around the house without worrying about puppy proofing every room (right away).
“Make a safe space you can puppy proof (e.g. separate a room off with a child gate, or use a pen), where your puppy can't do anything wrong, so you can focus on having positive interactions with them rather than telling them off all the time,” says Adam S, super pet parent to a two-year-old Cocker Spaniel.
Step three: Shop for your puppy
Before your puppy gets through your door, you need to get all those little puppy purchases done, so you can spend your time with your newest family member.
Here are some of our top priorities to buy before you get your pup:
Dog crate – When introduced alongside crate training, a dog crate provides a safe space for your pet at night, and also helps you transport them.
Stairgate/fencing – Gates around the house will help create restricted zones to help your puppy settle, and having fencing in the garden will allow them to explore any outdoor space you have freely.
Collar/harness and lead – Getting a collar and a lead early gives them a chance to get used to wearing the collar and walking on a lead before you go out into the wild to socialise.
Toothbrush and toothpaste – It’s very important to keep your dogs dental health as good as you possibly can - read our articles on the best dental products and why you should clean your dog’s teeth.
Puppy insurance – aim to take out a policy on the day you get your puppy so you're covered as soon as possible.
For a complete list of what to buy for your puppy, check out our puppy shopping list for more ideas.
Remember to take a blanket that’s been in your home when you go and visit your pup for the last time before bringing them home. The familiar smell will help them settle more quickly with you in their new home.
Overall, the most important thing is to make your home a safe space to help them settle, as they grow with you they will get used to their surroundings and what's right and wrong. Make those first few days easy for yourself too – so you can focus on the really fun stuff.