If you want to get a dog, you’re going to have to do plenty of work at home first. After all, dogs are sneaky creatures who love to explore, especially if you’re bringing a puppy home. The first thing they’ll do is see all the gaps and nooks they can get into and what they can chew on to help their teeth come through! And as a pet owner, this is the last thing you want for your new dog and the home you’ve cultivated to suit you.
This is why knowing how to prepare your space for a new pet is essential. Even older dogs can cause trouble when they’re in a new place, and you need to remove as many breakables and distractions as possible during that time. Sure, you’re not getting a cat who can climb and get into mischief literally anywhere, but dogs can still jump and leap and pull things down with their teeth.
So what should you do? How should you prepare? And how can you make sure the kids know the rules about the new family pet as well? By following the tips below! They’re a good way to build your own personal checklist and ensure you’ve got the best home to bring a new dog into.
Take as much off the floor as possible
Dogs love to chew on things – it’s simply part of their nature. They’ve big teeth and love to use them to rip things up, which means they’ll have a go on anything they can get their mouth around. Which is why it’s best to take as much off of the floor as you can.
Anything that doesn’t need to be there should be moved before your new puppy or adult dog is introduced to the space. If the kids like to leave their toys lying around, this is a good way to get them to clean up after themselves. If they don’t, the dog will chew it up, and then they won’t have the toy at all!
Check for gaps in the kitchen
The kitchen is notorious for dangerous appliances and chemicals. Because of this, you should go around and check for gaps where a dog could potentially wiggle in or use its nose to open. Any cupboard that contains breakable items, like plates and mugs, and any cupboard that keeps the bleach and the cleaning wipes safe should be locked in case of canine intrusion.
A simple child lock will work here, or you could move the items to a higher shelf where no dog alive could get to them. Similarly, if there are any open areas under the sink or the stairs, be sure to get a new drawer system to put things in rather than leave them on open racks or on the floor.
Make sure your garden fence is sturdy
Dogs are pretty good at finding their way out of something. It’s why so many dog homes and private breeders will recommend that your garden be as closed off as possible. For example, getting a chocolate lab from a page like this could mean your dog grows to be quite big and strong, and that can make fence-hopping or digging under to crawl out not at all hard! Even smaller dogs that slip under the fence can be something they perfect in a matter of days, so make sure you remove the chance to learn it. A good fence stretches all the way down to the ground and is well knocked into its own posts. It should be hard for you to move as a person, never mind a creature without opposable thumbs!
If you don’t have the budget right now to make adjustments to the fence, spreading some kind of mesh netting over and under the bottom is a good temporary fix. This will help to deter a pet from trying to dig or move through it and gives you more time to come up with a solution. Similarly, if you’re truly worried about your dog getting out, be sure never to let it out in the garden without supervision.
Put your wires away
Wires are a dog’s dream when it comes to chewing! But seeing as these wires connect your TV to the socket and your phone to the charger, you’d really rather not have them sink their teeth in. It can also be incredibly dangerous for the dog if the power is still on when they try to dig in.
It’s best to invest in a few cable tidies to keep your wires sorted and out of the way. If you use extension cables, you can fit the whole bar into the tidy, meaning you can box it off and ensure your dog has no way of lifting the lid. Tuck it behind the sofa to ensure it’s truly out of temptation’s way!
Tack down breakables
If there are breakable items in your decor arrangements, such as vases or glass paperweights, you’ll want to tack them down with something sticky so they can’t be knocked off. If your puppy bumps into a sideboard or a bookshelf when they’re going through a bout of ‘zoomies’, they could end up breaking everything that isn’t glued down!
You can use simple blu-tack here, or you can use double-sided sticky tape, or a more industrial form of the former that’s often used in museums. As long as it’s stuck down and you’ve given the furniture in question a little shake yourself to test, you should have nothing to worry about when your new dog throws their weight around.
Set up a ‘Quiet’ space
All dogs will need time to adjust to a new home – even if they’re older or have been rehomed before. They’ll need a moment to come to terms with their surroundings and feel comfortable with what they see, just like a person would when moving into a new home of theirs.
Try to set up a quiet space for them to retreat to when things get a bit much. Somewhere they can go where they won’t be bothered, even by kids who just want to cuddle and pet them. Their own bed is a good choice for this, but so is a cage they can sleep in – as long as either of these items are in a quiet room away from the main action in your home.
Make sure you’ve bought all the essentials
And finally, it’s time to double-check the list of items you’ve bought for your new pet! Have you got everything ready to go? A bed, a feeding tray, some poop-scooping bags; are obvious additions. But have you remembered items like a light to go on their collar when they’re out in the dark? Most people forget!
The prospect of a new dog is an exciting thing! However, dogs can make a lot of mess and get themselves hurt if you’re not careful as their owner. But all you need to do to stop situations like these is prepare your home right from the get-go.
Make sure you note down tips like those above to help you on your way. If you’ve been a dog owner before, you’ll be an old hat at this by now! But if you’re a new pet owner, you should always keep these things in mind.