Whether you want to bring home a new puppy or want to adopt an older dog, you will need to make a few changes in your home to create a safe and secure living environment for your canine companion. Making your home more “dog friendly” will not only ensure that your pet can live in a happy, stress-free environment, but also makes it easier for you to cohabitate peacefully with your four-legged friend.
Here are the top tips to make your home more dog-friendly:
1. Ensuring safety
Most dogs are inquisitive and will be tempted to investigate anything and everything they find lying around on the floors. Begin with taking a walk around your home and make a note of everything that could harm your dog. Tuck blind chords and long curtains out of reach and put away any potentially hazardous materials that your dog could chew, swallow or lick. This includes small toys that may belong to kids, all kinds of footwear, chemical cleaners, gardening supplies, insecticides and medications, to name just a few. Anything that could be unsafe if ingested by your dog must be hidden away in cabinets that your dog cannot access. The same goes for all exposed electrical wiring and sockets as well. Puppies are notorious for chewing through anything left in the open, but you’d be surprised to know that even adult dogs can resort to chewing on wires if they suffer from separation anxiety and have been home-alone for over a couple of hours.
2. Clean regularly
For dog owners, the best upholstery and flooring materials are those that are easy to clean. Tiles and wooden floors are best, since they need just sweeping and sterilizing with a disinfectant to keep them clean. However, if you have carpeted floors or rugs in your home, make sure that you vacuum clean often to keep your living environment sanitary and safe for all members of your family. As for upholstery, stain-free fabrics like leather and leatherette work best as all they need is wiping with a clean, soft cloth. However, most soft furnishings will require regular washing and vacuuming as well.
Living with a dog, even a well trained one who rarely has “accidents”, still means dealing with constant hair shedding, dog dander, unpleasant odors, occasional flea infestations and sometimes even drooling, in summer. As a dog owner, it should be a top priority to clean your home as often as possible, as your home will definitely need more maintenance to stay spic and span.
3. Create a comfortable living area
Whether you want your pet to stay indoors with you or spend a reasonable amount of time in the backyard getting some much needed exercise, you have to ensure that you cater to your dog’s comfort. Get a dog bed, or you could even set aside a chair, couch or bean bag that your pet is allowed to use and curl up on when looking for some quiet time. Backyards and gardens are slightly tricky as there could be several dog-dangers lurking out there. Certain plants, if ingested, can be poisonous for your dog. These include English Ivy, Chrysanthemum, Tulips, Lilies and Oleander. Keep your backyard free of these. Make sure that your backyard is enclosed and you secure it with a sturdy fence; one that your inquisitive dog cannot dig through or chew through to get out.
Double check gates and any other openings in the backyard before you let your dog out to ensure there is no way for him to escape. A small mistake could result in your dog wandering off, and being lost for good. It’s just a little step, and definitely worth the extra effort if you want to save yourself the heartbreak of a lost pet.