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If there is one thing that could light up our world other than the laughter of our kids, then it’s those bouncy furballs spreading around love and compassion. A dog has, and always will be man’s best friend – so how would you accommodate your best friend if they’ll be staying with you for the long run?
While many people decide to pet dogs on a whim, you’d be wiser to make the necessary preparations in advance. After all, both your life and your dog’s is about to be changed forever, so better make it a change for the better!
Here are eight steps you can take to make sure your home is friendly enough for your dog
1. Pet-Proof Your Furniture
For most people, petting a dog means they’ll be living indoors with them. Unless you’re planning on keeping your dog outdoors, then you’ll probably have to go through a long checklist of home fixes and upgrades. For starters, you’ll need to inspect the material of your furniture and decide if they’re pet friendly. Two main things go into this task: the durability and odor-resistance of the furniture. When it comes to durability, you want to choose a stain-resistant fabric that can endure scratches and doesn’t collect hair. You also want to choose a material that won’t get soaked or accumulate the dog’s odor, as that would be a terrible experience for you and your guests. Your safest option would be to steer away from silk, velvets, and tweed, opting instead for synthetic microfibre and outdoor fabrics.
2. Hide Hazardous Substances
Even if you believe that your house is relatively safe for the inhabitance of humans, your standards will have to change greatly once you welcome a dog. Something as simple as your medications can be toxic and quite hazardous to your dog. Keep in mind that your dog will most probably start chewing on anything that comes its way, so take extra care in hiding any dangerous substance that could affect its health. While medications, vitamins, and pills are obvious choices, other hazardous substances can include washing chemicals and soup, toxic food, sharp objects, choking hazards, and dangling blind cords and chains. It’s best to keep any of these substances locked on higher shelves with no way for your dig to access them.
3. Give Your Dog Their Own Space
Don’t let their cheerful demeanor fool you, dogs love having their own space to nap or just have a brief alone-time. If you fail to provide them with their own space, they’ll find a place to call their own. More often than not, you wouldn’t like the place they’ve chosen. You’ll find them hiding behind machines and home appliances, between nooks, or under tables and chairs.
This could quickly become dangerous if they get trapped in a narrow and under-ventilated area, where they can get overheated and paranoid. To avoid these issues, make sure to place blockades to prevent them from seeking refuge in these places. Better yet, get them their own space, man!
4. Follow Proper Feeding Routine
Truth be told, many pet owners have no idea what a proper feeding routine looks like. First of all, you’ll have to do intensive research about your dog breed and understand their nutritional needs throughout various life stages. When it comes to dogs especially, it’s crucial to provide the right dog food to avoid seizures or at least help in reducing the frequency and intensity of the seizures. You can only do that after understanding your dog’s medical condition and the kinds of food they should and shouldn’t have. While we’re talking about food, make sure you store the food properly if you’ll be buying it in bulk. Perhaps you should even opt for dry food, as it maintains its nutritional value and can be stored for longer periods without going bad.
5. Dog-Proof Your Yard
Whether you’re keeping your dog outdoors or you’ll be letting it out from time to time, you’ll need to make sure your yard is safe for your dog to play around. For starters, you’ll need to visit the ASPCA site and research plants that are toxic to your dog’s breed and get rid of them. Other than that, perhaps the most obvious point to check is the security of the fence and any openings that would allow the dog to escape. After securing your fence, you’ll turn your attention to the constituents of your yard.
6. Close Lids
Dogs love playing, and they’ll never be picky players. They’ll have fun with whatever is available to them, and if your trash can is what’s available, then they’ll make sure to have so much fun. Unless you want everyone to know what you’ve cooked two days ago or have your used tissues scattered across your home, you’d be wiser to cover all your trash can with lids. Better yet, invest in a taller trashcan that’s beyond their reach. Speaking of lids, make it a habit to close all lids – that goes to your toilet as well.
7. Remove Carpets
Remember how we said that furniture can accumulate your dog’s odor and stains easily? Your carpets can do an even better job. Most of the available carpets don’t have the durability to endure your dog’s paws and nails, much less resist stains or foul odor. Imagine how worse that could get if you give your dog the freedom to play in the yard and get indoors at will.
In short, you should definitely forget about carpets if you’re about to welcome a dog into your home. Instead, you can explore your flooring options and go for porcelain or ceramic tile flooring. You can also go for hardwood, but keep in mind that will require more intensive care and special cleaning routines.
8. Clean Regularly
Finally, make sure to clean your house regularly and properly. It’s very easy for dust, fur, and hair to accumulate, which makes room for germs and insects to settle in your house as well. Moreover, avoid using any fragrant air fresheners, cleaning materials, and chemicals that aren’t vet-approved.
Sharing your house with a dog is one of life’s best blessings. However, you’ll have to provide the necessary accommodation to create the best experience for your dog. Starting from pet-proofing your furniture to planning for your dog’s space and needs, don’t let anything ruin the new life you’re about to start!