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If you’re thinking about bringing a puppy or a fully grown-up four-legged friend into your life, you might just be asking yourself 'How do I prepare for a dog?'. There’s a lot involved in caring for any pet, from what to feed them to how much exercise they need. 

Keeping an animal with boundless energy entertained, healthy and emotionally balanced takes a lot of work, but as a labour of love, it’s something that you’re likely to enjoy immensely. Here we look at 5 tips to make your new arrival feel loved and cared for.

New Dog Tip #1 - Are You Ready?

Perhaps one of the most important things to know before getting your first puppy or, indeed, your first dog, is whether you’re ready to give the time and effort needed to care for them properly. If you’ve never had a dog before, you might not fully grasp what’s involved. For example, a puppy needs to be fed three times a day, as well as be properly house-trained. As they say, a dog is for life, so don’t commit until you know you’re ready.

New Dog Tip #2 - Dog-Proof Your Home

When asking yourself, 'How do I prepare for a dog?', a major aspect is preparing your home so that your little furry friend can’t get into anything that might hurt them. For instance, any cupboards containing toxic chemicals or medications need to be properly secured, in addition to putting any swallowable items out of reach. It’s a good idea to get down to their level and have a look around from their perspective, as it may help you spot any additional dangers for the pup.

New Dog Tip #3 - Learn What It’s Safe For Pup to Eat

Another the essential thing to know before getting your first puppy is what they can safely eat. Anyone who’s ever owned a dog will tell you that most dogs will eat almost anything you give them, so you must understand what they can and can’t eat. For example, did you know that macadamia nuts, garlic and chocolate are toxic to dogs?

Of course, providing them with a balanced diet is another important matter, but understanding what foods can cause them real harm is also vital to their care.

New Dog Tip #4 - Caring For My Dog With Regular Exercise

A cornerstone of your dog or puppy’s care is understanding how much exercise they need daily, as dogs of different ages and breeds will require different amounts. A good rule of thumb is to exercise your puppy for 5 minutes a day for every month of their age, i.e. a 3-month-old puppy would need 3 x 5 minutes of exercise, twice per day.

Once your dog is fully grown, they’ll typically need a minimum of between 30 and 60 minutes of exercise each day. However, if your dog’s breed is an active one, you could need more. Our advice is to read up on the breed in question and adjust exercise levels accordingly.

New Dog Tip #5 - Find a Good Vet at Good Time

After your puppy or fully-grown dog has arrived in your home, it’s a good idea to get them looked at by a good veterinarian within a few days. This is because a thorough examination will highlight any lapsed vaccines or underlying health problems. Finding a good vet before they arrive is also a wise move, as it will spare you having to rush out and find one that’s either unsuitable or overly costly later.

So, there you have it. Five tips on preparing for a new dog in your life. This is far from being an exhaustive guide to caring for your dog. However, it does provide some pointers on what to look out for before you’re blessed with a new canine friend.

Ever Thought of Studying To Pursue A Career in Animal Care?

Looking after a dog is an emotionally rewarding experience, and if you’re someone who loves the company of animals, you could be suited to a career in animal care. 

At Online Courses Australia, we provide affordable, flexible online learning in various subjects, including animal welfare. Our animal care courses can be taken entirely at your speed and paid for using our flexible payment options, making them accessible to even those with modest budgets. If you’d like to learn more about the available courses, visit

Have you considered a career as a Vet assistant or Animal Welfare Officer? Try one of our vet nurse courses online.

Study Entry-Level Vet Assistant Course Online


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