How to prepare your home for a Cavoodle puppy
Bringing home a Cavoodle puppy is a super exciting time, but it can also be quite nerve-wracking.
I was unfortunately a bit under-prepared when I brought home my Cavoodle and if I had to do it again, there are some things I’d do a little differently.
1. Cavoodle-Proofing Your Home:
Remove Electrical and Choking/Chewable Hazards Around the House:
We can easily overlook the task of ‘puppy-proofing’ our homes. Make sure to get your house ready by putting away any small items your cavoodle puppy might find interesting, but might not be the safest to play with.
Items could include small household items they can get to on the floor or on lower shelving. Such as jewellery, coins, small office supplies, medication, sewing supplies, exposed cords and wires and children’s toys that they would find chewable and therefore a choking or electrical hazard are just some of the things to look out for.
Avoid Stairs and Jumping Off Furniture:
Not only do cavoodle puppies love taking anything that might not be theirs to play with including socks and shoes, they also love exploring. If you have stairs in your home it’s best to puppy-proof them too. Moving an obstacle in front of the stair entry or purchasing a baby gate can keep them out and safe. Not only can there be a risk of falling and injuring themselves on the stairs they may even get between balustrading as they do not have an understanding of heights yet.
It’s not only stairs either, jumping from beds and couches can result in broken bones as their joints are not fully formed yet which can result in a very costly vet bill! So establishing strict boundaries early on is key.
Think like a cavoodle puppy!
Cavoodle puppies are inquisitive and full of energy, which means they can get into all sorts of trouble if your home isn't properly puppy-proofed.
Begin by getting down on your hands and knees to view your living space from a puppy's perspective. Look for potential hazards like cords or small objects that could be swallowed, and toxic plants. Secure these items or move them out of your cavoodle puppy's reach.
2. Puppy-Proofing Your Backyard or Balcony
If you have a yard or live in an apartment with a balcony, you will need to ensure it's safe for your Cavoodle. Cavoodle puppies can get into mischief and love to chew things they shouldn't, it's up to you to remove these hazards and keep your new cavoodle puppy safe.
A great idea is to create a designated puppy area safe for your cavoodle where you set aside a portion of the yard where your puppy can play and use the grass for toileting. You could also use a large puppy playpen to do this.
Some things to get in order before bringing your cavoodles into your backyard:
- Making sure your fence is sturdy and contains no gaps under, through or above, ensuring it's of a good height. As your cavoodle puppy gets older, some have a tendency to jump extremely high. Keep in mind if your puppy digs a hole near the fence will they be able to escape? Best to keep fence lines extremely low.
- Make sure all your gates have locks and are kept shut. If you have people regularly maintaining your yard ensure they are aware of your new puppy, maybe add a sign to your gate.
- If you have a pool, ensure there is secure fencing around it and don’t leave your puppy unattended in the pool area.
- Ensure there is always a barrier where cars back in and out if you have a larger backyard, some cavoodles do not have good car sense and if not careful could be run over.
- Check your garden for dangerous plants that are toxic to dogs. If you are not sure have a read of our article here on toxic plants for cavoodles.
- Ensure garden beds are trimmed back to avoid unwanted visitors like snakes and toads.
- Ensure no sharp weeds or bindis are in grass (these can get stuck in your cavoodles fur and cause bad knots and matting).
- Making sure the grass is mowed to reduce the potential for ticks and fleas.
- Avoid using lawn and garden chemicals/pesticides toxic to dogs (you can buy pet safe ones). Also make sure they are out of reach in a locked shed.
- Ensure there is a space where they can access shade and water at all times.
- Remove any small rocks, nuts, seeds that can be swallowed, cavoodles love to chew on anything they find and you don’t want to end up at the vets because they have a rock stuck in their intestine or ate something poisonous.
If you live in an apartment, don’t worry, cavoodles can be easily trained to adjust to a balcony. However, it's crucial to prepare before their arrival as balconies can be quite dangerous for cavoodle puppies if not secured properly.
Puppy-proofing your balcony before you bring your puppy home will make your life a lot easier as you can start getting them into routine right away.
Some things to get in order before bringing your cavoodles onto your balcony:
- Balcony Netting or Mesh: Install a sturdy and secure balcony netting or mesh to prevent accidental falls and ensure a reliable safety barrier.
- Secure Railing Inspection: Regularly inspect the balcony railing for any gaps or weaknesses that could compromise your Cavoodle's safety.
- Remove any toxic plants or objects that might be harmful if ingested.
- Create a toileting area if this is where you want them to do their business, you will need to invest in artificial grass mats or some sort of alternative.
- Training on Balcony Etiquette: When you bring your Cavoodle puppy home, be sure to train them on appropriate balcony behaviour, reinforcing positive actions and discouraging any potentially risky behaviours.
3. Create a Safe Space:
Designate a specific area in your home for your Cavoodle puppy to call their own.
A playpen, a room, a crate or a gated area can help keep them contained while they adjust to their new environment. Make sure this space includes comfortable bedding, water and food bowl, and a few safe toys to keep them occupied.
Crate training is an invaluable tool for housebreaking and providing your puppy with a secure space. Make the crate comfortable with a soft blanket and encourage your puppy to explore it. Over time, your puppy will come to see the crate as their den.
Creating a comfortable area is done by making sure to line their crate or bed with blankets. You can even organise with your breeder to have a blanket given with the puppy’s mum’s scent to help them adjust in their first few days. To add to your puppy's feeling of security, drape another blanket over the top of the crate or purchase a crate cover to help reduce anxiety and visual stimuli.
Do not use this area as punishment when they are misbehaving, you want the crate to be a safe space for them to go to.
To keep your cavoodle puppy out of mischief it's best to be prepared with a variety of different toys and enrichment activities that will make them mentally and physically tired.
If puppies get bored they can develop bad habits that might be hard to break, like chewing on furniture.
4. Preparing Meal times For Your Cavoodle Puppy:
Remember your puppy is coming into a new environment when you bring them home, for the first few days they might be a little shy until they warm up to you.
You should always keep them on the same food as the breeder had them on to avoid any upset tummy incidents, if they are not eating and drinking after 24 hours, we recommend you call your breeder for advice or take them to the vet.
One thing we found that cavoodles love is boiled chicken, if they are refusing to eat their food, you may need to try hand-feeding them until they are confident to eat out of their bowl themselves.
Transitioning your cavoodle puppy to new food:
If you wish to switch up the food your cavoodle puppy is currently on you need to make sure you transition them off the food slowly to avoid unnecessary tummy issues including vomiting or diarrhoea.
We currently use Lyka to feed our cavoodles. All their meals are nutritionally balanced created by a holistic veterinarian and have no additives or preservatives. They are delivered straight to my door in frozen pouches and I defrost as I need each day which is super convenient and cost effective! It’s like hello fresh for dogs without the cooking.
Use the code MYCAVOODLE20 at checkout to get 30% off your first box.
Slow feeders and lick mats:
Once your cavoodle puppy becomes more confident with food they may tend to inhale their meals quickly which can lead to upset tummies and vomiting.
I know my cavoodle Bambi suffered from this so, instead of watching over her like a helicopter dog mum, I invested in a slow feeder bowl for her meals.
Sometimes I change it up and also use a lickmat as they are great for making food time more interesting and helps promote licking. The licking action generates saliva that helps protect your cavoodles teeth and gums, and can aid digestion as saliva contains enzymes such as Amylase. The natural rubber surface also scrapes food particles and odour causing bacteria off your cavoodles tongue, promoting fresher breath.
5. Keeping their coat gorgeous
There’s nothing like that new Cavoodle puppy coat, it's super soft and shiny! But the problem is, puppies don’t stay puppies and their coats don’t stay as soft and fresh as when you first brought them home.
At some point you will need to give them a bath, it's recommended you use a high quality dog shampoo and conditioner for your cavoodle puppy as they can be prone to skin sensitivities. A first bath after bringing your cavoodle home is also a great time to create trust and bond with them.
If your breeder hasn’t told you yet, just consider that Cavoodle coats can be high maintenance, they need to be brushed every day, washed every couple of weeks and groomed every 4-6 weeks professionally so their coats stay maintained to avoid knots and matting. They will need their first professional groom around the 6-month mark.
If your cavoodle starts to form knots and mats in their coat when you take them to the groomers you might not recognise the teddy bear-looking puppy you dropped off, they will have a lot less hair and by a lot we mean they will come home fully shaved like a rat and you will not be happy!
A grooming starter kit comes with everything you need to maintain your puppy’s coat. This kit has the grooming tools you need to keep on top of your cavoodles’s grooming routine including a shampoo specifically formulated for a cavoodles coat and sensitive skin, leave-in conditioner to keep them fresh between baths and their coat super soft and fluffy, a slicker brush, comb, nail scissors, a detangler and pin and bristle brush.
6. Puppy Essentials:
Stocking up on essential puppy supplies and being prepared is important when bringing your cavoodle puppy home, don’t forget to tick off these items below before you bring your cavoodle home:
- Bedding, kennels
- Puppy pee pads
- Doggy door
- Walking items like collar, ID tag, harness, leads, poop bags
- Hygiene items like toothbrush and dog toothpaste
- Treats like Ziwi Peak, air dried chicken treats
A few other things to consider when bringing your cavoodle puppy home:
Introducing your cavoodle to your kids or family
It’s also important to remember to prepare your kids for the new puppy. Discuss briefly with them about how it’s best to be sitting down while holding the puppy, avoiding any rough play as the puppy is still very young and fragile, no intrusive hands in mouth and eyes for example, and making sure to create an overall calm environment. Letting the puppy have time and space away from the kids is also very important.
Establishing a good nighttime routine for your cavoodle
It's important to decide where your cavoodle puppy will sleep and stick to the plan, if its crate training be consistent with this, it's an easy choice to give into their cries on the first few nights and bring them into your bed but remember it will make training a lot harder if you don’t follow through. From my experience once a cavoodle is in your bed its very hard to get them out of that routine!
Roll up or put away rugs to reduce the risk of accidents happening on them
Any furniture or pieces in your home you do not want your cavoodle puppy to touch, put it away, don’t leave to chance, it might end up broken or soiled on.
Beyond the home
All the puppy preparation doesn’t just stop at the home. Puppies are unpredictable. They love experiencing their new world and sometimes, they might not do it in the safest of ways. To always be prepared for the unexpected, getting puppy insurance can be key. An option for insurance is Knose Pet Insurance who offer different levels of cover. If you use the code MYCAV2M you can get two months free pet insurance with them. Learn more about Knose Pet Insurance here.
Bringing home a Cavoodle puppy can be a lot of work, but the love and companionship they provide make it all worthwhile.
It's best to be patient with your cavoodle puppy as they adjust to their new surroundings, and shower them with affection to build a strong and trusting bond.