Puppy Advice

Preparing For a Puppy

If you’re about to become a dog owner, there’s lots to do and think about. Here’s some advice on preparing for a puppy or dog.

Puppy resting in soft purple bed with blue ball

Plan your time

If you work, you will need to take some time off to help your puppy settle in. Even if you work from home, your new arrival will be in need of your constant attention. Puppies are just like babies and need someone around all the time when they are little.

Organise day care

Think about what support you may need as you are preparing for a puppy or dog.

During the first year, your puppy will need to have someone around for much of the time. This can be challenging if you need to go work, or be away from the home for some of the day. Plan ahead so that you can arrange for someone to ‘babysit’ while you are away from the house. This could be a relative, a friend or a professional pet sitter.

Once your puppy has been fully vaccinated, you may want to use doggy day care. Puppies are usually fully vaccinated by the time they are 12 weeks old. When considering day care be mindful of whether your puppy is confident enough for it and how the doggy day care centre is run. Some puppies who attend doggie day care where there is lots of unregulated play may develop boisterious play styles and potentially poor recalls. While others who may not be ready for such busy socialisation may develop nervous and possibly defensive behaviours. 

As your puppy becomes an adult you will be able to leave them alone at home for some of the day.

Find and register with a local vet

Most vets offer health care packages for dogs. They can help you spread the cost of vaccinations, flea and worm treatments and health checks across the year. It’s also a good idea to get pet insurance. That way, you will be covered if your dog becomes seriously ill or has an accident.

Find a local Puppy Trainer

Your puppy will be ready to go puppy school when they are about three months old. This is after they had their second vaccinations. 

When looking for dog trainers and classes focus on ones run by accredited dog trainers and those using positive reinforcement methods to ensure high standards both in knowledge and welfare for your new puppy. Read more on finding a dog trainer or find a class here with one of our very own highly qualified and welcoming Puppy School trainers. 

Find out more about our brilliant Puppy School Classes

Stock up at the shops

As well as buying food, toys, beds and equipment for your new dog, don’t forget to stock up for yourself. Once your new puppy or dog arrives, it might not be that easy to pop to the shops. Plan ahead, do a big shop or arrange to have your groceries delivered.

Prepare your puppy

Now you've chosen your new puppy, before you pick up your puppy, send by post or take a toy and a blanket to the breeder, over the weeks leading up to collection. Then remember to bring it home with you when you collect your puppy. The toy or blanket will have a familiar smell. This will help your puppy to feel more settled in their new home. 

Prepare yourself

The reality of having a dog can come as a bit of a shock to first-time pup parents. Puppies don’t sleep through the night and need to be trained to sleep, just like babies. You can expect to have some sleepless nights. Toilet training is hard and you should expect lots of accidents to begin with. Do you enjoy your weekend lie-ins? They are likely to become a thing of the past.

There are, of course, many great things about having a dog. But in the early months you may struggle and experience something called the post puppy blues. Things will get easier as you settle into a routine and adjust to life with a dog.

Find the Perfect Puppy Class Near You

Discover small, friendly classes across the UK led by our expert, professional Puppy School Tutors. Get hands-on advice and support, to ensure your puppy gets the best start with positive, reward-based training.

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What Clients say
about Puppy School

  • “Frankie is a natural puppy instructor with bags of energy and knowledge. The course was very informative and very enjoyable. Both Sassy and I have learned a great deal. I feel confident moving on with Sassy's training and look forward to future courses. Course was perfect and a huge thank you to Frankie, see you at the next course.”
    —   Jenny
  • “The whole family really enjoyed the puppy course. Elin was a brilliant instructor, extremely knowledgeable, helpful, welcoming and easy to understand. We have learnt a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the course. Thank you!”
    —   Sam
  • “Rocket and I enjoyed every class and Cat was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. It was fab watching her interact with each dog, and be able to show owners what was possible, no matter what temperament of dog. Fantastic to watch and great tips given as we went along trying the new skills. ”
    —   Andrea
  • “It was a good experience for both us and Reuben. I think puppy training is valuable for all dogs and owners!”
    —   David
  • “We attended puppy school with our American bully puppy coco, we had already had a terrible experience with another school who made us feel tidally uncomfortable and unwelcome with our puppy. Puppy school Hollywood could not have been more different, Sarah was a fantastic tutor and a real supporter of Coco, encouraging us when the muzzle made exercises that bit more tricky and thinking up modifications so Coco was never left out. We were introduced to the class and the explanation of why Coco was wearing a muzzle was done in a way that we didn’t feel in any way uncomfortable and the other puppy parents were reassured. Thank you so much for giving our very restricted puppy the opportunity to be ‘normal’, I can’t articulate what an impact it had.”
    —   Frances