Since almost the beginning of human history, man, woman, and dog have lived on the same planet, coexisting and creating a life together to live in harmony and support of each other. Now, more than ever, people are turning to pets, including dogs, to find an outlet and comfort during these anxious times. A dog can help with anxiety, with other medical conditions such as dogs trained to be service animals, and most importantly, provide unequivocally beautiful friendship.
It’s not enough to just want a dog, however, to be a good owner. In learning how to prepare your home for a new dog, it’s important to realize, first and foremost, that it’s not just about the physical things you can give your dog, but also other things like time ad attention. Though the American Pet Products Association (APPA) reports that U.S. pet owners spend more than $60 billion on their pets annually, not all pet owners are so caring. In fact, according to PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, every year in the U.S., more than 6 million lost, abandoned, or unwanted dogs and cats enter animal shelters, where most will be euthanized. The numbers are staggering and show just how important it is to know how to prepare your home for a new dog, cat, or other pet.
What Can I do?
It’s important to do as much research as possible to know how to prepare your home for a new dog. This includes having to set aside not only time and attention, but quite possibly money to work on possible renovations for your new pup. You don’t have to take super drastic measures like getting private money loans, but being prepared with a little bit of extra cash does help. To help you get started in your journey, and to help you know how to prepare your home for a new dog, here are 15 tips to help you get started in being the best pup owner you can be.
1. Prepare Time
First and foremost, it’s important to know how much time you will have to dedicate to your new dog. Welcoming a dog into your home involves not only getting them acclimated to your new home, but yourself, friends and family, and possible training thereafter if any problems arise. Dogs also need adequate exercise depending on what breed they are, adequate playtime, and also time with other dogs. Look at your work schedule, and see realistically how many hours you are available to take care of your new pup. Consider less-maintenance breeds that love to linger inside the apartment, such as bulldogs and greyhounds, or simply reconsider until you have more time on your hands.
2. Stabilize Indoor Furniture
It’s important to look at your living situation to know how to prepare your home for a new dog. The size of your apartment or home matters, but so does the various furniture that could pose a hazard to both you and your dog. Before welcoming your new pup, make sure that your indoor furniture is stabilized. This is especially important if you live in an earthquake-prone area such as California and Nevada. Ensure all cabinets and shelving units are properly placed onto walls, valuables such as vases and china are put away safely, and glass table-tops and other dangerous sharp objects and furniture are not out and pose a hazard.
3. Make Changes to Flooring
It’s no secret that knowing how to prepare your home for a new dog also involves knowing how to do extra chores you wouldn’t normally do. This involves using lint rollers and extra-strength vacuums to clean up loads of hair from your new dog. If you have carpet in your home, you can almost be certain this new hair clean-up will be part of your daily routine. However, consider getting floor maintenance services to not only smooth out your floors, but also even replace the carpet! Getting new laminate or hardwood floor can not only look beautiful, but also save you the time and headache of having to constantly clean up dog hair every day.
4. Buy Great Toys
Dogs need a good amount of exercise and playtime in order to gain good social skills and interact with both humans and other dogs properly. You should buy toys that encourage tugging, pulling, chewing, and also treats to train your dog when welcoming them to your new home. Being able to play with your dog will allow them to get rid of excess energy throughout the day. Besides, toys that encourage dogs to teeth on them can save you from having to replace valuable cushions and pillows your dog might chew up when not properly trained.
5. Dog-Proof your Yard
Getting new landscaping done can be a great way to welcome your new dog into your home. However, new landscaping can be costly, and sometimes simple changes are all you need to ensure the outside of your home is doggy-proof. A simple addition of a strong gate by a local fence company, adding some hedges, and even adding a doggy house can all be great ways to keep your dog from running away. Unfortunately, sometimes this isn’t enough to protect your dog from even being stolen by robbers! This is an all too common occurrence, especially for puppies, so ensure you are letting your dog in every night if possible. If not, consider the addition of security cameras to keep your dog and home safe.
6. Get Rid of Outdoor Hazards
In addition to preparing your backyard to keep your dog from running away, you must also put in extra work to get rid of hazards in your backyard. Just like the inside of your home has hazards like furniture, the outside of your yard can also have hazards. Lack of shade, hot cement with no grass, lack of proper food and water, even dangerous trees and shrubs can all be potential threats. Consider tree removal, increased maintenance, and simple additions to make your yard as safe as possible for the new family member.
7. Thoroughly Maintenance your Home
Simple tasks might not be so simple once you get a new dog. Nervousness, agitation, and even fear can all cause a new dog to be untrusting of the plumber, or even the mailman! It’s important to take care of all possible maintenance issues, such as plumbing, fumigation, carpet cleaning, and other services before you get your dog. Not only will this help your home stay clean, but also prevent you from having to put your pup in a stressful situation early on.
8. Research Pet Hotels
If you lead a busy life, but still want to consider getting a new dog, it’s important you do some research into pet hotels around your area. It’s always a good idea to leave your dog in the hands of a trusted family member that is familiar with your pet, but this is not always possible. When going away on a long business trip, for instance, do adequate research and make sure there is a reputable pet hotel in your area before even considering adopting a pet. This will make it easier for both you and your new dog!
9. Reach out to Vets
When learning how to prepare your home for a new dog, you must consider how to prepare for your dog’s health. We’ve covered hazards in the home, but what about hazards to your dog’s health? Who will you turn to for medical attention? Researching the nearest vets near you can help you in case of an emergency, but also to closely keep-up with your dog’s health.
10. Reach out to Groomers
Knowing how to prepare your home for a new dog also involves knowing how to keep your dog clean and fresh as much as possible. Just like researching vet services and doggy hotels, researching groomers is a must-do before adopting your new dog. Dogs play in the dirt, mud, grass, and everything in between! It’s important to find a good groomer near you that is good with dogs, has good reviews, and knows how to handle even the most nervous or playful of dogs. Grooming will not only prevent issues such as ticks, fleas, and matting, but also help prevent your allergies from getting worse due to having a dirty pup. Plus, who doesn’t love a freshly groomed puppy face?
11. Consider Walkers
Dogs need lots of outside time, and their favorite thing to do might just be taking a simple walk! It’s recommended that dogs take 60 minutes a day to walk for most breeds, and even up to 120 for larger breeds. This can be done within 3 to 5 miles for most breeds, and it’s a great exercise for you as well. However, sometimes it’s not possible to walk such a long distance for some people, such as those with disabilities or with little time on their hands (though this isn’t ideal). Nevertheless, consider the help of dog-walkers online through apps such as Wag! and Rover. Using a walker is better than leaving your pup alone all day without any outside time.
12. Consider Doggy Training
Knowing how to prepare your home for a new dog can be challenging. This is especially true if you have a dog on your hands that is violent, or just not adequately trained. The last thing you want to do is put your neighbors and family in danger when getting a new dog. While a dog bite injury attorney can be very helpful should you lose control of your pet and they become aggressive, it’s the last kind of situation you want to be in because you couldn’t control your dog and they weren’t trained better. However, this is a very real possibility if you cannot properly train your dog or simply don’t know how to. Petco and other pet stores and various groups and businesses can help you train your dog to not be aggressive, get them help with social anxiety, and other behavioral issues. Always talk to a veterinarian before considering programs, and support your dog in their training journey.
13. Ensure Proper Temperature Settings
It’s important to know how to prepare your home for a new dog by preparing the temperature of your home properly. Ensure your thermostat is working, your sliding patio doors are letting in the fresh air, and your dog won’t have to suffer the effects of heatstroke. This is especially important when dealing with larger breeds, and when living in places with extreme heat and cold. Never leave your pet outside in either condition and have a plan to prepare for them to sleep inside with you.
14. Acclimate other Pets
How to prepare your home for a new dog also involves preparing your other pets! If you have other pets in your home, such as other dogs and cats, it’s important to consider their safety as well. Dogs need to be introduced to each other to see how well they respond. This is especially true if you are adopting a dog that has been in a particularly abusive or traumatic situation. Consider getting your dogs to meet beforehand, and save yourself the headache of a house full of fighting dogs later on.
15. Prepare Adequate Food
Nutrition is everything when considering food for your dog. Preparing adequate food and water isn’t simply putting ice cubes in a bowl of tap water, or buying cheap kibble. Although, some dogs will enjoy snacking on ice cubes and it can be a nice treat in the hot months. Though good dog food might be a little pricey, it’s well worth the cost. Avoid buying foods filled with fillers, potatoes, not enough protein, and not enough meat. In addition, make sure to keep an eye out for possible allergic reactions in your new dog, and seek help immediately if this is the case.
Preparation is Key
Owning a new dog is rewarding, fun, and a lifelong journey and memory. Your dog is not just a pet, it’s family. Knowing how to prepare your home for a nee dog, and doing everything possible to do so makes all the difference. Whether it’s getting new toys, making sure the washer repair gets done first, buying great food, and everything in between, you’ll be glad you did it all for your new pup.