Preparing Your Home Before You Get Your Puppy

by Vivvy A
Shih tzu Dog Lying on Bed

Getting a dog is a big commitment, and there’s plenty to think about as you prepare for your dogs’ arrival. Dog-proofing your home is important for puppies and for adult dogs who don’t yet know what’s acceptable and what’s not your home.

Although an adult dog may not even consider gnawing on the legs of the kitchen chair, eating your shoes, or rooting through the garbage, you won’t know for sure until he’s in your home.

There is a lot on your mind about introducing your new dog to your home and checking off everything that you need to do to ensure that your dog feels as comfortable as possible in your home.


Food, Storage Container, and Litter Box

Find a safe place to use for the pet’s litter box and food. Purchase a food storage container to store your pet’s food. Ensure your home has the appropriate toys, bedding, litter box, and food before your pet arrives.

This removes the guessing game of deciding where to put your dog when he comes. Having everything already in place will allow your dog to adjust to his new home –cat too.


Pet’s Playtime

Ensure that your pets have toys to play with so that they do not get destructive around your house. An open area is great for a pet visiting a new home. Get a playpen if you are worried about your pet’s safety in your home.


Your Furniture

Go with fabrics and flooring materials that’ll do less work for you. Stylish, easy-care leather, Ultrasuede/Microsuede can be wiped clean and won’t be dramatically affected by wear. Crypton Super Fabric is a synthetic germ- and stain-resistant option made with pet owners in mind. It’s available in a variety of custom colors and patterns. Check out What kind of material does not attract pet hair to see some of the best materials to use for furniture in your home.


Cupboards

Pets can often open cupboards to access home cleaning products, pesticides, fertilizers, and other hazardous items, latch them shut. Keep rooms that contain rodenticides and traps off-limits to your pet.


No Hanging Fabric

Avoid vertical blinds, pooling drapery, ornate tassels, and long cords that can be a strangulation hazard. If your dog gets caught in any of these, he could panic and bring anything around him down, harming himself in the process.


Loose Objects

Many dogs in a new environment are bound to explore, and some more enthusiastically than others. Puppies, in particular, explore with their noses and mouths, which may mean being susceptible to choking hazards, chewing through electrical cords, and munching on some of your favorite possessions. Make sure that all loose objects hanging around are placed in safe areas.


Kids

Teaching some basic rules will help protect the health and safety of your children and your new pet. Ensure your kids understand that a new pet is not a toy, and the new pet may be scared, anxious, and timid at first. Your dog may need time to adjust, to become comfortable with his new home.


What Happens if You Already Have a Dog or Cat in Your Home?

You should decide whether or not your dog is ready for a playmate. Determine if your dog has any underlying behavioral issues that need to be addressed, such as separation anxiety, excessive barking, destructiveness, and aggression towards humans, dogs, or other small animals.

New dogs can mirror your other dog’s behaviors, both good and bad. Have all your pets spayed and neutered, as this will improve their health and behavioral problems tremendously. After a month of careful supervision, correcting misbehavior, structured walking, and supervised feedings, your dogs will know the new/old dog is not a threat.


Can Cats and Dogs be Friends?

Unlike some pets (fish and mice, for example), kittens need attention, companionship, and care – as do dogs. But that doesn’t mean you need to turn your home over to your pet. Your cats and dogs will thrive in settings where the rules and expectations are clear.

Dogs and cats can live together and coexist gracefully. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how you introduce the two, and this is the same even if both animals are dogs. You should not leave your dog and cat unattended until you are entirely sure that they are comfortable around each other.


Keeping Your Carpet Clean With Your Pets

You’ll probably want to have carpet-cleaning supplies at the ready. Get a head start on hair shedding and pet messes. If you have carpets, have your cleaning kit ready, just in case of staining—stock up on appropriate cleaning supplies like rags, paper towels, and trash bags.


Dog Crate

Purchase a dog crate for crate training. A crate will come in handy for bringing your new dog home. Make sure the crate is big enough for your dog to stand in comfortably and turn around without being cramped.

Get a bed or padding for the bottom of the crate to prevent your dog from getting sores. Place the dog’s crate in a safe area of your home. Some dogs get anxious when they are inside their crate; knowing you’re nearby will make it easier for them. Gradually move it elsewhere after the first two weeks, once your dog is more used to you.

Happy Labrador Retriever With Owner

Temper your expectations because life with you is a different experience for your new companion, so help your dog adjust to his new home. No one will ever greet you with as much enthusiasm or provide you with as much unconditional love and loyalty as your dog would. Be patient with your new pet because everything will get better with time.

While you may want an animal and think a dog breed is perfect for you, this isn’t always the case. If you and your new pet would be happier separated, it’s important to talk to the shelter and look into returning the pet.

No shelter wants to see an animal come back, and none wants any of their adopted pets or any animal to be abused either. Sometimes our relationship doesn’t work out with the people we love, and the same thing can happen in the animal world.

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