What to Expect When You're Expecting (A Puppy)

Lauren Powell

If you’ve been dreaming of bringing a furry new friend into your life, it could be time to consider whether it’s the right decision for you and your lifestyle—owning a dog is the definition of commitment. And renowned veterinarian, Dr. Katrina Warren, agrees.

While our Instagram and Facebook feeds may be brimming with cute pooches that we wish were our own, it’s important to remember that with the walks in the park and the unconditional love there also comes the full-time responsibility. Before you take the plunge and welcome your fur baby into your home, Warren has revealed the most important things to consider both before you purchase and when you become the proud new owner of a puppy. Scroll for everything you should know and consider before purchasing a pooch.

1. Choose the right puppy for your lifestyle

Be realistic about:

- The type of accommodation you live in.

- The amount of time you spend at home.

- The amount of exercise they need.

- How much time and money you’re prepared to spend on your pet.

2. Buy from a reputable breeder or consider adoption

Visit the breeder’s property where the puppy has been raised and if the breeder won’t allow this, then buy your puppy elsewhere. Nobody wants to buy a pup that has come from a ‘puppy farm’ and the best way to ensure that you’re not supporting this industry is to take steps to find a reputable welfare organisation or registered breeder and view the property where the pups were bred.

If you buy a puppy on the internet, you have no idea of the health of the puppy or the conditions it was raised in and you may be inadvertently supporting a puppy farm. As most people are looking for an indoor family pet, I recommend looking for a breeder who allows their puppies to spend substantial time indoors.   

3. Puppy proof before you bring your puppy home

Puppies have a tremendous amount of energy, natural curiosity, and they love to explore the world around them with their mouths, however, this can lead them into harmful situations. Before you bring your new puppy home, make sure you survey your home for potential dangers—in much the same way you would make your home safe for a toddler. Remove anything that your puppy might chew such as plants, electrical cables and rugs, and put away all chemicals and cleaning products.

4. Don’t allow your puppy to roam free in the house

Your puppy should be confined when you can’t actively supervise them to avoid them making mistakes or doing damage to themselves, or your property. A puppy play pen is great for this. Always provide plenty of chew toys in the playpen to keep your pup occupied.  

5. Protect your furniture

Puppies can make a lot of mess. I recommend rolling up your rugs until your puppy is fully toilet trained as puppies are often drawn to the texture of rugs to do their business. Arm yourself with the right cleaning tools—you will need a urine specific enzymatic cleaner for any accidents that occur on carpet or soft furnishings. Do not use general household cleaners as they will just mask the smell, but they don’t break down the urine crystals. A good vacuum is a must —the Electrolux Ergorapido Pet Power Vacuum is brilliant for spot cleaning and is designed to lift pet hair and mess from couches with its special Fabric Pro Power nozzle.

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