Are you the proud owner of a brand-new puppy? Or perhaps you’ve recently adopted a rescue dog (did you know over 3.1 million dogs are surrendered to rescues each year, and each year approximately 2 million dogs are adopted to new homes) and want to make your home as comfortable as possible for them? Either way, you’ll need to know how to prepare your home for a new dog, so they feel at home instantly!
That being said, introducing a new dog into your home comes with its own set of challenges. It is about getting them settled in and ensuring their needs are fulfilled in the long run. The key is creating an environment that caters to their needs from day one. After all, a dog is for life, not just for Christmas, and you want to know you are ready before you add a new pet to your family. Part of this is making your home safe and welcoming for each family member, including your new four-legged friends.
Read on to learn more about how to prepare your home and your lifestyle for your new family pet.
Learn as much as possible about the breed of the dog before they come home
When you welcome a new dog into your home, it is essential to understand a little more about its breed. This will give you a better idea of the breed’s needs, personality, and health. This will also allow you to make sure that you are prepared for any potential needs they may have. For example, if you have a large breed dog, you must ensure that your home has appropriate space that allows them to navigate their home safely and has a large enough yard for them to stretch their legs. However, if you are adopting a beagle, you need to be aware they are a very vocal dog, and they love to sniff everything and have a never-ending appetite too!
In terms of research, there are several ways that you can research the breed of your new dog. The easiest thing to do is to look online for information about the chosen breed of dog. You can also read through dog magazines, books, and websites that feature information about various dog breeds. You can even consider asking the breeder or rescue center where you got your dog for more information about their breed.
As a family, discuss ground rules and responsibilities
Dogs are family members, so when you bring a new dog into your home, you should discuss ground rules and responsibilities for taking care of the new addition. This will ensure that everyone knows how the dog will fit into your family’s daily routine. This can be a great conversation before your new dog comes home to avoid any confusion or frustrations later. You can also discuss with your family whether you want your dog to sleep in its own bed or a family member’s bed, or you will crate train your new dog. All options have pros and cons, but everyone must be on the same page regarding this decision. From there, you will also want to discuss potential training methods, how you plan to exercise your dog, and anything else that is important such as feeding times, amounts, treats, and anything that is off limits, e.g., specific rooms, the whole of the upstairs or simply the importance of not leaving things where the dog can chew especially if you are bringing a puppy home.
Buy your dog essentials and food.
The first thing you will want to do is buy your new dog all its essentials. This includes a collar and leash, food and water bowl, bed, toys, and other items that will make them comfortable in their new home. If you are adopting a dog from a rescue center, you should ask what type of food they have been eating. This can be either a commercial food brand or a raw diet. Otherwise, you can buy a high-quality dog food that is made for their breed. You will also want to buy your dog food as soon as possible. Make sure to buy a quality brand and type of food designed for their breed. You will want to do this so that they are eating a healthy diet from the beginning. Getting their food as soon as you bring them home will also give you time to transition them onto the new diet slowly. This will help reduce any digestive upset that may occur.
Identify foods or products that could harm your dog and move them out of reach.
Certain foods can be very harmful to your dog. You must know what they are and where they are located in your house to avoid accidental poisoning. Some items that could be harmful to your dog include cleaning products, medication, chocolate, grapes, raisins, and xylitol. You will want to make sure that these are moved out of your dog’s reach. It is also important to keep prescription medications out of reach. Keeping them in a locked cabinet is safer for you and your dog. You should be wary of a few other items when you have a new dog in the house. For example, things like pennies, ribbons, and string can cause harm to your dog if they are ingested. This is why keeping items like these out of reach is so important.
The same goes for plants, as many common household and garden plants are harmful to dogs, and knowing if you have them in your house or garden before you bring your new dog to your home will allow you to remove them to avoid accidental ingestion. Harmful variants include; bluebells, crocuses, daffodils, and foxgloves, to name a few.
Find a safe space for them to relax and sleep.
Dogs are social animals who want to relax and sleep close to you or your family members. To do this, you will want to find a safe space for them to sleep in your house. You can either use a dog bed or have them sleep on a blanket on the floor near a family member. This way, your dog can be close to those they love and feel safe. You can also use baby gates to section off a portion of your home for them to relax in if there isn’t a specific space you want them to sleep in. When it comes to their sleeping arrangements, remember to consider their size and breed. For example, smaller dogs can sleep in miniature beds or on small cushions that take up little space, while large dogs need something they can stretch out on. It is essential to find a safe place to sleep that will keep them cozy and comfortable.
Make sure all family members know not to disturb your dog when it is in its crate or safe zone; for example, they need to know there is somewhere they can go to be left alone and not disturbed. This will help you to create a better relationship between everyone and your new dog and put sage boundaries in place.
Secure your property so your dog can’t escape
You will want to ensure that all your entry points and exits are secure so your dog doesn’t escape. This includes making sure that all windows and doors are closed and that you have any fences secure. For external access for pets, you can look into dog doors for walls or doors when they are fully trained or if you have small children at home and you cannot leave the door open for easy access to the garden all time. They’re also great if you leave the house for power, as the dog can go in and out as required. If you have a small dog, you may also want to consider installing a baby gate at the top of your stairs. This way, they can’t fall down the stairs and get hurt. If you are bringing a new dog home and have small children, it is essential to make sure that you take extra precautions to keep your dog safe. You can do this by installing a safety gate or purchasing a fence for your yard. This will keep your dog safe and allow them access to the yard.
Your dog is a part of your family, so when you welcome a new dog into your home, it is crucial to make them feel comfortable. This can be challenging, especially if they are new to living with a family or have been living in a kennel environment for a long time. It is essential to take the time to slowly integrate your new dog into your home so they can become comfortable with the surroundings. Preparing your home before they arrive is one of the best ways to do this and help to create a better start to your relationship with your new dog and integrate it into your family dynamics as quickly as possible.