New Puppy Care Checklist: How to Prepare for A Puppy

Getting a new puppy is an unforgettable experience. Choosing your puppy and bringing them home for the first time is exciting, emotional, and a little scary. Whether you’re a first-timer or a pro, there’s bound to be some unexpected moments along the way. But proper preparation will ensure you can concentrate on bonding and helping them settle into their new home.

What to Prepare for A New Puppy?

Here at Cooper and Gracie, we know first-hand how and what to prepare for a puppy. To help you make sure you have everything you need for your puppy and your home, we’ve compiled our top tips.

Puppy Proof Your Home

Puppy-proofing your home will help to keep your puppy safe and out of trouble. Unless you plan on watching them at all times, we recommend:

  • Tidying away toys, shoes and other chewable objects
  • Installing pet gates so you can keep your pup from sneaking upstairs or into other areas of your home alone
  • Replacing chemical cleaners with pet-safe alternatives, like our pet-friendly disinfectant
  • Moving house plants out of reach or ensuring they’re pet-friendly and non-toxic
  • Ensuring electrical cords are covered with cord protectors or hidden behind furniture

When puppy-proofing your home, don’t forget about your garden. It’s easy to think that outside space is always safe, but make sure your garden is tidy and free from debris. Your puppy will explore with their nose and their mouth, so it’s essential to remove any hazardous objects.

Outdoor plants can be toxic to dogs, so check Dogs Trust’s full list of poisonous plants to prevent your puppy from ingesting potentially dangerous toxins. Finally, much like indoor cleaners, be wary of the products you use in your garden. Many standard garden products contain chemicals that can be harmful to pets. Opt for pet-friendly garden care products before bringing your puppy home to ensure your garden is chemical-free.

Prepare Your Puppy’s Sleeping Area

sleeping alsatian puppy on cushion

At just 8-12 weeks old, your new puppy is going to sleep a lot. Don’t be alarmed by how much, as most puppies of this age will happily sleep for 18-20 hours per day. Their fast-growing bodies and brains need plenty of sleep to support their growth. This makes their sleeping area all the more crucial.

Make sure they have bedding set up in a quiet corner or room, away from loud noises or disturbance. A quiet spot to sleep in is vital in a family home with young children. Expect your puppy to take themselves away for a little snooze in between play. Or move them to their sleeping area when they fall asleep on you to get them used to sleeping alone.

You may want to buy a crate for your puppy, which they can sleep in both during the day and at night. It’s not compulsory, but crate training helps with house training and stops them from chewing furniture. The crate should contain soft bedding or blankets – a blanket with their mother’s scent on will help them settle in the first few days.

Choose Your Local Vet

Your puppy will need two vaccinations before you can take them out on walks. And the sooner these are arranged, the sooner your puppy can explore the outdoors. Fully prepare yourself by researching local vets before bringing your puppy home.

Once you’ve registered with your chosen vet, you can book them in for their first jab and puppy health check. While your breeder should have had your puppy checked over by a vet, this will ensure they’re completely healthy and pick up any potential issues early on. You can let your puppy settle in for a few days before their first jab. But having a vet on hand from the start will give you peace of mind in the rare case you need them.

Research Pet Insurance

black pug wearing plastic cone

It’s no surprise that vet bills are expensive. And no matter how careful or prepared you are, you can’t plan for trips to the vet. Puppies are vulnerable, so itchy skin, sickness and diarrhoea are common. However, sometimes these problems don’t improve on their own, and they need some extra TLC from a professional.

Having pet insurance from day one of owning your puppy will ensure you’re covered. Especially as regardless of expense, some insurers can be picky about insuring you for a pre-existing condition. Do your research and select a reputable pet insurer before you need them.

Stock Up on New Puppy Supplies

Preparing for a new puppy doesn’t have to be expensive. But stocking up on a few basics will ensure you can relax and focus on the fun stuff.

puppy with soft toys in santa hat

Here’s our new puppy checklist with all the essential supplies you’ll need:

  1. Food and water bowls – to avoid spills and dirty ears, look for puppy-sized bowls (especially for spaniels!).
  2. Puppy food – check the food type with your breeder as suddenly changing food can upset your puppy’s delicate tum.
  3. Bedding – buy one or two extra blankets, so you always have a spare after accidents.
  4. Collar with ID tag – all dogs in public must wear a collar and tag. Read up on the laws all dog owners need to know on Blue Cross.
  5. Lead and harness – a harness will prevent your young puppy from straining their neck and discourages pulling.
  6. Puppy shampoo – you’ll need this more than you think in the early days, so a natural anti-itch puppy shampoo will be gentle on their skin and fur
  7. Pet stain remover – keep a natural stain remover to hand to clean up any accidents.
  8. Urine stop sprayanti-urine spray is an excellent toilet training aid to deter your puppy from peeing indoors
  9. Bitter apple chew stop – while your puppy is teething, they’ll chew anything they can. But a spritz of natural bitter apple spray can deter chewing.
  10. Anti-bac skin spray – ideal for use on sensitive or itchy skin, a natural anti-itch spray can soothe skin without the need for medication.
  11. Teething toys – teething lasts until your puppy is around 8 months old, so teething toys are a must to protect your house!
  12. Flea and tick spray – using a natural anti-flea and tick spray will protect your puppy without the use of harsh chemicals.

Shop more of our best-selling natural puppy products to help you prepare for your new puppy.

We hope our tips and advice have given you some ideas on how to prepare for your new puppy. Wishing you all the best on your journey with your newest little family member. Please share your experiences with your new pup using our puppy essentials on Instagram @cooper.gracie.official.