Puppy and dog environment

Where to put a dog’s bed. How to get them used to car travel. Clearing up after your dog.

In this section we’ll look at:

  • Creating the ideal environment for your puppy or dog
  • A comfortable dog bed
  • Car travel
  • Cleaning up after your dog
  • Poisons and Hazards around the home, garden and out and about on walks
  • Research

Creating the ideal environment for your puppy or dog

  • Give your dog their own bed where they can rest undisturbed.

  • Keep poisonous or hazardous home and garden items safely out of reach. 

  • Secure your dog behind a dog guard or on the back seat with a seat belt when travelling in a vehicle. 

  • Exercise your dog on a daily basis.

A comfortable dog bed

A cosy bed is important for dogs. This should be kept in a quiet, dry, draught-free area. Make sure you choose one that can be cleaned easily and thoroughly – and do this regularly.

Car travel

It is important to keep your dog safe when travelling: secure them behind a dog guard or on the back seat with a seat belt. 
To get your dog used to travelling in your car, introduce your dog to the car from an early age.

  • Let them explore inside your parked car in their own time, under supervision in a safe area.

  • Leave the doors open so they can come and go as they please and reward their relaxed behaviour. 

  • Gradually build up from this: first, get them used to the seat belt. 

  • Then turn the engine on to help them get used to the noise. 

  • When they are comfortable with this, go for a short drive.

Cleaning up after your dog

  • Keep your dog environment clean and hygienic as dog faeces can transmit diseases, as well as parasites such as worms. 

  • Clean up after your dog using a plastic bag or ’pooper scooper‘, especially if there are children around. 

  • Dog owners and people responsible for dogs have to do this in public by law, under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

Poisons and hazards around the garden and home

Keep your dog safe from hidden dangers in your home by checking out our Poisons page. From chocolate and caffeine to currants and chives, it’s a comprehensive list of poisons and hazards to keep safely out of reach of paws. Thousands of accidents and illnesses are caused every year by them, so take another look now at our list to remind yourself.


PDSA reveals the state of our pet nation each year in a comprehensive measure of animal wellbeing in the UK – The PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report.

Since 2011, over 21,000 pet owners, veterinary professionals and children have been surveyed to find out how dogs, cats and rabbits are cared for. Here are the findings for dogs and their living environment:


When it comes to the sleeping arrangements for dogs, owners score well in our PAW report. However, there has been a decrease in the number of dogs having daily off-the-lead exercise, reducing from 73% down to 66%.

Key findings from our most recent report:

  • 66% of pet owners feel that all dogs should be kept on a lead in public places. Whereas this is agreed with by only 44% of vets and vet nurses.

  • 94% of dog owners feel informed about the environmental needs of their dog – and of these 59% feel very well informed.

  • As well as going for walks, 89% of dogs play in the garden, 82% play in the house and 75% play with toys on a daily basis – helping to keep our dogs’ minds active.