Whether you’re moving into a new home with your canine companion or you are bringing home a new dog for the first time, there are always a few precautions you should take to make sure your home is ready to roll when your new best friend arrives. Here’s how to prepare your home for the incoming dog.
The obvious thing is getting any dangerous foodstuffs high enough where your dog can’t reach them. It goes beyond that, however. It may take weeks to determine whether your dog is smart enough to open cabinets on their own, or whether they’re going to go counter surfing when you are out of the house. Edible things need to go high - and we aren’t just talking about food. Make sure dangers like cleaning supplies and the like are out of easy reach as well. You know they’re dangerous, but your new dog won’t. And, until you figure out what they act like when left on their own, you want to make sure they’re safe. If you’re extra worried, invest in some baby gates to block the kitchen off or kennel your dog while you’re out.
Again, move anything that might smell interesting (shampoos, soaps, makeup, etc.) from out of easy reach. Remove any electrical appliances into cabinets or linen closets. Get some trash cans with lids so your dog won’t go investigating (and shredding) bathroom trash. Most important of all - close the toilet lid! Not only is it disgusting when your dog drinks from the bowl and then gives you a big, slobbery kiss, but there could also be remnants of cleaners and chemicals in there that could make them very sick.
Candles and potpourri need to be out of reach. We keep them because they smell good; your dog might think you left some treats out for them. Make sure you are cleaning up well before leaving the room. Things like kids’ toys and shoes are prime targets for chewing, especially if your dog hasn’t learned yet what is off limits. Bundle up cords and try to get them as out of the way as possible: run them under rugs, behind furniture, etc. Cords are tempting - and dangerous - targets for chewers. Finally, move breakable things away from edges - dogs are not always the most aware of their space, and excited tails have broken a fair share of objects.
Figure out the outside situation BEFORE you bring a dog home. Are you going to have them on a lead? Is there a fence? If so, is it high enough and gap free? Inside the house, you will also want to set up a safe space for your dog. Where will they eat and drink? What furniture can they get on, if any? Where is the dog bed going to be, and is it going to be out all the time? Just like you have a favorite area of your home, your dog will want one too. Most likely, they’ll want it close by you.
One last thing - getting a dog in a new space can be a little intimidating. Be prepared for messes, and don’t let them upset you. It’s all part of the process. Keep a cleaner like Bio-nihilator on hand to take care of it, and get excited about learning to cohabitate with a furry friend.