If you’re preparing to get a new dog, either through adoption or a breeder, you’ll want to take some measures to protect your home and get your space ready for your new companion. Past simply buying things like dog food, a bed, a leash and other essentials, there are some things you may not even think of—scratches on the floor, chewing problems, etc. Getting your home ready for a dog isn’t complicated, and with a little bit of planning, the transition will be easy for everyone.
Protect Your Furniture and Flooring
Bringing a pet into your home opens up the possibility that your furniture may get a bit damaged at first. Cats can be scratchers, and dogs can be chewers. Whether you rent or own, you’ll want to protect your home from the damage that a new pet can cause—so how do you go about doing that? Of course, you won’t be able to protect floors completely from a dog’s nails, but you can schedule regular grooming appointments for nail trims so they aren’t dragging sharp or overly long nails across wood floors. As for furniture, you can consider using slipcovers on couches or armchairs. If your dog turns out to be a chewer, you can purchase bitter apple spray, which is a harmless spray that you use on furniture and other places where your dog might chew—wood trim, door frames, etc.—that has a very bitter taste to repel your dog.
Secure Exits and Other Problem Points
If you’ve got kids and you want to keep the dog out of bedrooms, investing in a baby-gate can be a good idea, provided your pooch isn’t big enough to outsmart it by jumping over it. You’ll also want to come up with plans for your home’s exits, particularly if your pup is sneaky and good at getting out. If you plan on using a doggie door, installing those is a good prep activity before you get the dog as well. Basically, you want to make your home as welcoming, yet as safe, as you can.
Consider Hiring a Dog Walker
If you plan on being away for long amounts of time—say, during the day while you’re away at work—you may want to consider setting up a dog walking schedule with a local dog walker. Dog walkers can stop into your home once a day, once a week, or whenever you need them to come by so that your dog can grow accustomed to a routine. Hiring a walker can also facilitate the housebreaking process, since your pup will be able to go out more frequently.
Prepping your home for a new dog doesn’t take much time, but the few things you can do ahead of time can definitely save you some headaches!
What advice would you give to a new dog owner?