Preparing for a Puppy – Wednesday 27th January 2021

Preparing for a puppy

Before you worry, it’s not us preparing for a puppy – I tried convincing Mum but she said ‘no’. However, at the moment there are lots of families preparing to welcome a puppy into their home. For many people, the Covid-19 situation has changed their lifestyle permanently and for the first time they can welcome a dog into their family. I’ve told you how many Zoom calls I’ve been doing with people who have decided a little friend like me would be perfect, well it seems to be true of lots of different dog breeds. Then our friends at asked if we would like to use a guide they’ve put together so I decided that would be a good idea. I’m going to add some important points of my own first to it too.


Before welcoming your new puppy into its forever home, there are a few things you need to take care of. Owning a dog comes with a lot of responsibility, but puppies especially come with a never-ending curiosity which can sometimes lead to trouble. 

Specialists at have put together 10 handy tips on how to protect yourself, your puppy, and your home. 

Training Pads

Training pads can be a useful part of trying to toilet train your puppy. The younger your puppy is, the harder they find it to control their bladder, so if they’ve got to go – they’ve got to go. Using either training pads, a waterproof bed, or a combination of both can prevent unfortunate accidents, ruined furniture, and slippery floors.

(Wilma – the best toilet training means starting by taking your pup outside every half an hour and especially if they have just woken up or eaten. Stay outside until they have gone to the toilet, use a command they can recognise to mean that – we understand ‘go’ in our house. Then praise your puppy. The length of time between taking the puppy out can be built up slowly as they grow and their bladder muscles strengthen. Usually, if they fail it is the fault of the human and not the fault of the puppy – It is NOT something to tell the puppy off for. If you need to leave it longer between going out, then training the puppy to use a training pad can be very useful.)

Puppy Gate 

Puppy gates are the best way to keep your new four-legged friend out of a room, or away from any other pets or children that could potentially cause them harm. As we mentioned, puppies come with newfound curiosity and if you have to leave them alone at any point (and you should for short periods, to increase their independence) using a puppy gate is the most effective method to keep them confined to a safe area.  (Wilma – do bear in mind some dogs, such as me, will learn to jump over gates at any height. As a breed we are also renowned for climbing out of puppy pens, so always consider the safety of your puppy.)

Check Your Plants

When getting a new puppy it’s important to make sure both the inside and outside of your home is free from any plants or flowers that could be poisonous and toxic, such as lavender, eucalyptus, and peonies. Different types of plants and flowers bloom depending on the season, so it’s crucial to regularly check your garden and any plants you might buy for the inside of your home too. (Wilma – this is really really important. Don’t assume that if it’s safe for you then it’s safe for us. Remember we have a tendency to put things in our mouths so please check everything.)

Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

A new pup comes with a lot of new mess, however, even though you might find yourself cleaning up more than usual – it’s extremely important to make sure that your cleaning products don’t contain any chemicals that can be harmful to your dog. 

Check cleaning products for any ingredients such as the likes of bleach. Ammonia, formaldehyde, glycol ethers, and chlorine can be toxic to your puppy even once they’ve been put away due to the vapours left behind. You can get cleaning products that are made specifically to be pet safe. (Wilma – you need to think about this in the garden too. It is by far the safest to avoid the use of chemical products in the garden. Weedkiller, fertilizer, pest control products – can all be highly dangerous to animals and that includes us!)

Hide Toxic Household Items

It’s not just cleaning products that can pose a threat, the likes of medicine and food can also be highly toxic to your pups. Make sure that they can’t get into your kitchen cupboards, onto the countertops and any medication is kept high up, out of reach. (Wilma – don’t just hide them, lock them away and don’t tell us where the key is. If you have those kitchen cupboards with magnetic opening, please bear in mind it took Aristotle a few seconds to work those out at a friend’s house. He then went round opening all the doors to see what he could find! Also, don’t ever keep out treats in the same cupboard as anything we shouldn’t have. The treat cupboard is the most likely one we will learn to open.)

Keep Cords and Wires Tidy 

It’s not uncommon to have wires lying around but these are a huge risk to your pup. Keep cords and wires safe by using secure cord covers, or keep them completely out of reach if it’s possible. (Wilma – this is true in your car too. One of our friends did £5000 damage, chewing through the car’s electrics!)

You can also use puppy deterrent spray to keep them away from electrical items or anything else you don’t want them sinking their teeth into. (Wilma – please bear in mind, these do not always work, so don’t use them as an excuse not to keep things safe.)

Remove Dangerous Items

Small toys aren’t just a choking hazard to babies, but dogs too. Make sure you keep your home tidy inside and out. Especially ensuring that anything small or sharp, such as kids’ toys or garden tools are tidied away. (Wilma – the same is true of kitchen knives and DIY equipment. If you have cut food with a knife make sure it is not left on the side. You don’t want us trying to lick it.)

Keep Chairs Away From Tables 

Young puppies have fragile bones, so jumping or falling from high heights can put them at a pretty big risk of injury. Keep chairs far enough from tables so that your pup can’t try to climb, and if they’re sitting on the couch or bed with you, make sure they’re supervised at all times. (Wilma – bear in mind we will be like small children looking for any opportunity to find mischief.)

Close The Toilet Lid

We know (and understand) that dogs can be disgusting, never ending exploring and running around can work up quite a thirsty appetite in a young puppy, keep them safe by making sure your toilet lid is shut, remnants of bleach or other toilet cleaning products can be highly toxic. (Wilma – we could fall in too! Also bear in mind we don’t always grow out of this one.)

Keep Bins Covered 

Whilst those viral videos of a very guilty looking dog with your bin’s contents spilled all over the kitchen floor is funny, your dog getting into your bin can be extremely dangerous.

Make sure your dog can’t open your bin, by either keeping it out of reach or purchasing a bin with a special lid to keep your puppy out. It not only relieves the risk of your pup eating anything sharp, toxic or something they could choke on – it also saves you from a very messy, very smelly house. (Wilma – especially if you have put us on a diet for any reason!)

Thank you, to for that. Most importantly, if you are welcoming a puppy into your home, enjoy every minute of puppyhood and give your puppy lots of love and somewhere they can find peace and quiet and feel safe. A busy house can be very daunting for a new puppy.