SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Preparing for your new dog

Once you have decided that you are going to bring a dog into your life (after some research and careful thinking about whether a dog is right for you and how to look after a dog), it is important that you make some preparations before getting your dog/puppy.

Download our full Dog and Puppy Care Brochure (PDF)

Make sure that you have thought about your new dog’s environment, enrichment, feeding, health and behaviour and what you need to do before your dog comes home. You can use the information given previously in this document to help. Important things to consider are:

  • Are you going to keep your dog indoors, indoors and outdoors, or outdoors? Make sure you have considered the pros and cons of each of these choices before deciding.
  • What enrichment are you going to provide for your dog?
  • The right kind of food and feeding method for your dog (e.g. using food toys to enrich your dog and stimulate him/her mentally and physically).
  • You should find a local veterinarian before you take your new dog or puppy home, just in case he/she becomes ill suddenly. Check local websites or get recommendations from other dog owners
  • How are you going to take your dog/puppy home?
  • How are you going to set up your home for your new dog/puppy’s arrival?
  • What supplies will you need for your new dog/puppy? Items to consider include:
  • Food bowls
  • Water bowls
  • Food
  • Dog brush
  • Dog shampoo and conditioner
  • Collar and lead (retractable leads are not recommended because dogs are not properly under control on these leads and there are safety issues for both the dog and person)
  • Toys (e.g. a chew toy, a ball, food toys)
  • Flea and worm treatment
  • Sunscreen, if your dog has a white or pink nose
  • A bed, kennel and/or crate
  • Registration tag
  • Poo bags
  • Play pen or baby gate (for puppies)
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