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Getting ready for your new puppy or dog

  • 1, Dec 2023
  • Read time: 2 mins

There are lots of things to think about when it comes to welcoming a new dog into your home. Especially if it's your first time!

Watch and read our guide, created in partnership with Dogs for Good, to find out how to prepare.

Creating a safe space for your dog

Check that any small, chewable or fragile items are safely tucked away out of sight. Think about things like cables, children's toys and shoes.

Your dog's crate

The crate should be your dog's safe space, so make sure it is properly set up for them. It should be in a quiet, accessible part of the home. Make it as comfortable as possible with toys and a blanket.

Water and food should be close by. Try adding a blanket over the top to keep it feeling cosy and safe.

Stair gates

Think about what areas of your home may be unsuitable or dangerous for your dog. A stair gate or two, strategically placed, can be very helpful in keeping your dog safe. It can also help protect areas of your home from your dog's potential chewing habits.

If you have a garden with a pond, think about similar actions you can take for your dog's safety.

Give your dog time

Just like people, dogs need time to adjust to new environments. Bear in mind that how long it will take will differ from one dog to another.

Be patient and positive with your dog, encouraging them to explore and settle.

Introducing them to existing pets

If you already have a furry friend or two at home, you should take some time to think about introductions. The most important thing to remember is not to rush.

Scent swapping

This allows the animals to get used to the others' smell before meeting. For example, a piece of material with the new puppy's scent on it could be taken into the home.

Neutral territory

If possible, try to introduce your new and existing pets in neutral territory, such as a park.

Own space

Make sure your existing pet or pets have their own space in the home, so they don't feel pushed out or displaced. Try not to move their space to a new spot, especially if you're planning to put the new puppy where they used to be.

Gradual adjustment

A new pet in your home space is a big change for an existing cat or dog, so take your time. Stay positive and encouraging.

Toxic foods and plants for dogs

Our in-house vet, Luke, says:

"There are a long list of plants and flowers that can cause our dogs to fall sick, but some of the most important to avoid can include rhododendrons, azaleas, and foxglove.

Everybody loves food, and our dogs love it just as much as we do. But there are certain foods that you need to avoid feeding to your dog. These can include chocolate, raisins or grapes, and onions."

For more information and examples, have a look at our dog diet and poisonous plants pages.

Think about vet fees and pet insurance

Preparing your home and existing pets for your new dog's arrival is very important. But it doesn't stop there! You should also think ahead to what caring for your dog may mean in the future.

Having the right dog insurance can be an important part of your overall care plan for your dog. It could give you peace of mind if your dog ever becomes ill or is injured in an accident. These often occur unexpectedly, and vet fees can be expensive.

We offer three levels of cover – Basic, Classic and Lifetime. Take the time to research your options and find the best cover plan for you and your dog.

Begin your dog insurance quote today

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