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Labrador puppy black and white playing with red ball

Preparing for your puppy’s arrival

Welcoming a new puppy is an exciting, challenging, and hugely rewarding time. If you’re well prepared, you can help your puppy settle faster and it’ll be more enjoyable for you too.

Pomeranian puppies black and white in red basket

Getting ready for your puppy

There are plenty of things to do before you bring home your puppy to make sure you're ready for their arrival. As well as buying important equipment for them, it's vital to make appropriate preparations at home too. Key things to consider are:

How to puppy-proof your home

Puppies are curious and love to explore, so it's important you make sure your home's safe and secure before you bring home your new arrival. Here's our checklist to help you prepare your home for your puppy.


1.Toxic houseplants

Many common houseplants are very dangerous for dogs and puppies, including, lilies, aloe vera, ivy, dieffenbachia, caladium, pothos, zamioculcas, cyclamen. It’s best to either keep all houseplants out of the way of your puppy, or double check to make sure yours don’t pose a threat for them.

2.Dangerous substances

Store chemicals, cleaning products, medicines, and other toxic substances out of reach, or use child locks on your cupboards if needed. E-cigarette refills and screen wash are known to be particularly harmful for dogs.

5.Small objects

Puppies like to explore things with their mouths, so put away any small items they could chew or swallow. This includes children’s toys, drawing pins, plastic bags, and elastic bands. Also hide away anything else you wouldn’t want your puppy to chew, such as your shoes.

6.Poisonous foods

Some of the foods we enjoy can be very harmful or even fatal for your puppy. The most known toxic foods include chocolate, coffee, avocados, grapes, and sultanas (consult your vet for a full list). To be safe, keep all food out of your puppy’s reach and make sure your family knows to only feed them their puppy food.

How to puppy-proof your yard

Your puppy will enjoy spending time outdoors, so you’ll need to make sure your yard’s safe for them to explore too. Here are some important things to consider.


1.Fencing and gates

Before your puppy arrives, make sure there are no gaps in your yard fencing or gates. And check there are no areas where your puppy could dig under or climb over to escape.

2.Toxic garden plants

As with houseplants, there’s a long list of outdoor plants that are poisonous to dogs. They include ficus, holly, mistletoe, philodendron, narcissus, hyacinth, iris, azalea, rhododendron, oleander, poinsettia, and sweet pea. If you have poisonous plants in your yard, you’ll need to watch your puppy to make sure they stay away from them.


Have a close look around your yard to find and address anything your puppy could injure themselves on, including holes in the lawn and sharp thorns.

4.Ponds and water features

Until your puppy’s older, it’s safest to keep ponds with steep sides and water features covered to prevent them falling in and drowning.

5.Tools and small objects

As with indoor puppy-proofing, remove small objects from your yard that puppies could swallow or choke on. And lock away your garden tools, especially those that are sharp.

Things you'll need for your puppy

Before your puppy arrives, make sure you have everything you need to care for them and help them settle into their new home. Here are the essentials.
English Cocker Spaniel standing on at tile floor sniffing a stainless steel bowl

Choose the right puppy food

Puppies have very delicate digestive systems and sudden changes in their diet can cause digestive upsets or even make them skeptical about their food. For this reason, it’s best to feed your puppy the same food as their previous care taker for the first few days while they settle. Then you can slowly introduce your choice of puppy food that should support your puppy's growth.

Having the right diet is crucial for a puppy’s health, growth, and development. At each stage, they need specific nutrients in precise quantities according to their breed size. So we recommend selecting a high quality puppy food based on your puppy’s age and expected adult size.

how to transition onto new food illustration

How to switch to new puppy food

When you're ready to move to a new puppy food, make the transition slowly over a week-long period.

Labrador puppy black and white eating from red bowl

The importance of puppy nutrition

Learn how crucial your puppy’s diet is in helping them grow into healthy adults.

Sleeping Labrador retriever Puppy being passed to a young-girl

Preparing your family and pets for your puppy

There are plenty of things to consider when bringing a puppy into your household to ensure everyone stays safe and your puppy settles smoothly.

Learn the best way to introduce your puppy to children, older family members, visitors, and existing pets.

Preparing your family

How to find a vet


Finding a vet

Finding a great vet you can trust, who’ll help your puppy grow into a healthy adult, is an important aspect of being a pet owner. It’s best to find one before you bring your puppy home because they may need a check-up a day or two after they arrive.

White Poodle puppy being held by a vet

What should you consider

One of the best ways to find a good vet is to ask friends and family for recommendations. You should also consider a vet's:

  • Location – can you get there easily?
  • Premises – is it well equipped, well maintained and clean?
  • Services – are out-of-hours and preventative services available?
Puppy lying down on a table at the vets

Meet your vet first

It's worth meeting the veterinarian too before you decide so you can make sure they're a good fit for you.

Once you've chosen a veterinarian, make sure you and your family have easy access to the emergency number in case you ever need it.

Brown Labrador Retriever puppy sitting on a table being examined by a vet
Jack Russell Terrier Adult standing in black and white on a white background

Find a vet

It's important to have identified a local veterinarian before bringing your puppy home. Find a veterinarian near you. 

Dachshund puppies in black and white

Bringing home and welcoming your puppy

The first days together with your pet are a chance to create a healthy foundation for their future.