Preparing your Home for a Puppy

A puppy can put a smile on just about anyone’s face but it’s worth doing a bit of preparation before you welcome one into your family.

A golden labrador puppy

Prepping your home for the arrival of a puppy will help them to feel welcomed into your family and hopefully help you preserve some of your décor too.Though when it comes to dog toys strewn across the floor and hairs embedded into the carpet, you can expect to fight an uphill battle once there’s a furry friend in your midst!

Setting up puppy corner

I have to admit to being one of the 49% of Chihuahua owners who describe their dog as their baby. And I also fall into the 44% who allow their dog to share a sleeping space, despite the advice from dog experts that doing so can cause confusion about the pecking order in the home.

Whichever way you decide to play it with your puppy, it’s good to establish boundaries with dogs very early on. Set up their own puppy corner complete with dog bed or cushion, water bowl and food bowl and they’ll know which area to call their own from the start.

Some dog owners choose to set up a crate for their pooch with their bed or blankets inside. This can help to get the dog used to being enclosed and in addition to preparing them for future trips in the car, having a coverable crate can actually help them to sleep at night.

While you shouldn’t leave your puppy locked up in a crate alone all day, it can be useful to leave them in the crate if you’re popping out for a short time. Especially if you want to be sure you won’t have chewed door frames or scratched wallpaper when you return!

During puppy training, accidents are almost inevitable. You may want to designate a target area for the puppy to use as their toilet until they are able to hold things in and if you choose to do so, puppy training pads can be useful. However, it’s advisable to get your dog used to going outside as soon as possible.

Just like potty training a toddler, this requires lots of patience and positive reinforcement, but your carpets will definitely be thankful if you put the time and effort in early on.

One of the hardest parts of puppy potty training is getting them to tell you when they want to be let out and let back in, this process is made a little easier if you can see outside and in. If you already have or are planning to fit glass doors, it can be worthwhile purchasing some protective vinyl for the bottom of the glass to protect them from marks made from dirty paws and wet noses!

When dogs have an established area of their own for resting in, you’ll be surprised how happy they are to head there to lay down after a busy play session or a walk. That doesn’t mean they won’t try to jump up on the sofa and if, like me, you’re happy for them to do so then that’s completely your call. If denied the privilege from an early age, most dogs are happy enough to lounge on the floor.

Deciding if upstairs is off limits

With their boundless enthusiasm, it won’t be long before your furry friend tries to follow you up the stairs. If your stairs aren’t closed off by a door, it is perfectly possible to train your dog to stay downstairs by teaching them to sit and wait for you there. But for extra peace of mind, you could choose to fit baby gates to your stairs.

Whatever you opt for, be mindful that puppies find it a lot easier to get upstairs than down and will need supervision until they’re steady enough on their paws not to take a tumble! You may even find that you have to guide your puppy through the process of putting one paw in front of the other as they head downstairs.

Getting your garden ready

Puppies love to play, so make it your priority to get your garden or other outdoor space ready for them to roam in. Make sure any fencing or hedges are secure, so they don’t squeeze through any gaps.

You’ll also need to consider whether your plants are puppy safe (they do like to eat things at low levels) and of course, whether your plants are safe from your pet too!

Raised beds can go some way towards stopping your plants being ravaged but your best protection is keeping an eye on your pooch.

Another option you might consider is sectioning off an area where your dog is allowed to dig, couple that with lots of walks and active play with toys and they will hopefully be distracted from attacking your favourite flowers!

Are you preparing your home for a new furry addition? Do you already have dogs? If so, do you have any tips on getting your home ready for a new puppy?

38 thoughts on “Preparing your Home for a Puppy

    • Sally Akins says:

      Thanks Daniella – the boys have been asking for a dog for years and I have always said no, for that very reason. It’s only now that they are old enough to help care for him that I feel it’s the right time. Thanks for commenting :-)

    • Sally Akins says:

      I know people who use them across the kitchen door as well – it’s great because their puppy can see them but can’t get in and cause mischief while they are cooking!

    • Sally Akins says:

      So far Charlie hasn’t been too bad with chewing (touch wood!!) but he is a real digger! Hard work, but totally worth it :-) Thanks for commenting Cathy

    • Sally Akins says:

      It feels kind of like babyproofing all over again, just when I thought my baby days were behind me ;-) Thanks for commenting Sarah

    • Sally Akins says:

      Ohh, that’s a shame :-( Lyle was absolutely desperate for a dog for years, he and Charlie adore each other now. Thanks for your comment Rachel x

    • Sally Akins says:

      To be honest, I didn’t realise until we decided to get a dog. Then I did some reading and realised it’s just like having a new baby in the house! Charlie is sleeping next to me on the sofa right now, I’m so soft on him… Thanks for commenting!

    • Sally Akins says:

      Oh yes, Charlie is definitely my baby! I’m the one he comes to when he’s got overtired and needs to sleep, or wants a bit of fuss – he definitely knows who his Mummy is ;-) Thanks for commenting!

    • Sally Akins says:

      So so worth it, Claire – I was the one who always said no to a dog before, and I think I was right to do so. But now that we have Charlie, I can’t imagine not having him around. Thanks for your comment :-)

  1. joanna smith says:

    Oh wow how cute!! This is a great post for starters looking to get a little ‘baby’ of their own. I’ve never had a dog. It’s something that I’d love to do but I just don’t have the time to house-train and that would be mean of me x

    • Sally Akins says:

      They definitely take a lot of time and attention, especially at the start – I’m glad we waited til the boys are a little older. Thanks for your comment Joanna

    • Sally Akins says:

      Thank you, Teresa – the boys have been asking for such a long time, but I think we definitely did the right thing by waiting til now. Thanks for your lovely comment :-)

    • Sally Akins says:

      Oh yes, I’ve definitely learned how much trouble Charlie can cause when he’s in that kind of mood. And if I tell him off, he slinks away with a doleful look on his face, then comes over for some fuss after a few minutes, LOL!! Thanks for your comment Emma

    • Sally Akins says:

      My boys asked for years, but I think it’s not a decision you can take lightly. I think we did the right thing to wait a while. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Rebecca says:

    Loved this post about preparing your home for a puppy. Getting a puppy is just like having a child I’ve been told – I want to get one but I don’t have the time which sucks x

    • Sally Akins says:

      There are definitely a lot of similarities, and Charlie is definitely taking up a lot of my time at the moment. I’m hoping he will settle down a bit as he gets older! Thanks for your comment Rebecca

    • Sally Akins says:

      It is definitely a big responsibility, but definitely worth the work :-) I hope she’s not allergic! Thanks for commenting Jenni

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