Bringing a puppy into the home is an exciting time for all members of the family, and it's easy to get carried away buying countless reams of chew toys and doggy treats in preparation for their arrival.
But beyond stocking up on premium dog food and investing in some quality bedding for your pooch, there are plenty of other factors that have to be taken into account in order to ensure your home is canine friendly.
That's because there are all sorts of hazards around the house that can be just as dangerous for inquisitive mutts as they can be for young children, and addressing these before your pup's arrival is the best way to reduce the risk of any accidents.
It's also worth remembering that other members of the family may have to change certain aspects of their behaviour such as making certain they put the toilet lid down and closing doors to rooms that will be off limits to your pooch.
Indeed, by taking steps to make your home suitable for your dog it is possible to ensure you're properly prepared to welcome a puppy into the family without any nasty surprises - and this means addressing both indoor and outdoor safety.
Here we'll take a look at the best measures you can take in order to protect your canine companion from the unexpected dangers that may be lurking around the house and garden.
From electrics and surfaces to household products, there are all sorts of things around the home that could potentially harm your pooch.
To begin with, it's important to keep cleaning materials away from your dog, and this can be done by either placing them out of reach or locking them in cupboards.
Another good idea is to hide any electrical cables behind furniture or inside cable protectors, making them chew-proof and preventing your mutt from unwittingly suffering an electric shock.
Next it's vital to realise that dogs lack the sense of height and depth that humans benefit from, so use screens and safely-spaced bars at windows to prevent jumping and any accidental falls.
A baby gate at the top of the stairwell is a sensible tactic too, as this will help to prevent your pooch from taking a tumble and suffering any unfortunate injuries.
Finally, always keep doors to the oven, washing machine, fridge and other household appliances closed.
There are numerous garden plants that can be hazardous for dogs if they decide to chew on them, so it's important to ensure that you don't have any of these kicking around among your flowers.
The most common types that can be toxic for pooches are Lily, Azalea, Daffodil, Tomato, Foxglove, Yew and Hydrangea, so have a close look for these before letting your canine companion loose outside.
Next you need to scan for any gaps in the fence that your puppy may be able to squeeze through, as you need to be certain that they aren't able to escape into neighbouring gardens or out into the street.
Considering that dogs love to dig, you should also check that the fence panels are sunk well into the ground to prevent your pooch from burying underneath.
Written by: Hannah Dyball