Dogs are loyal companions who make each day a little brighter for their owners, but there’s a lot that goes into their care. If you’ve just brought a pup home or are thinking about adding a dog to your family, there are a few things you’ll need to think about. Keeping them safe should be a priority, but of course, you’ll also want to protect your property at the same time. This information will help you avoid disaster so you and your new pet can focus on spending quality time together.
Prepare your yard
Dogs need lots of outdoor playtime throughout the year, so if you have a yard at home, you’ll want to make sure it’s as safe as possible in every season. Make sure there are no poisonous plants that a curious pup might want to investigate and consider putting up a gate around your pool or hot tub to prevent accidents. Many dogs like to dig, especially during the hottest days of summer when they can find cool refuge in the dirt; if you have a garden or don’t want to see your lawn torn up, you might give your dog a dedicated space for digging, such as a sandbox containing buried dog toys.
If your lawn isn’t fenced, search for an affordable fence company to find a contractor within your budget. Read reviews of their work and make sure they’re licensed in your city. A few things to keep in mind are the size of the fence you need, the materials you want, and where it will be located, as these factors will affect the cost.
Pet-proof your rooms
Like your lawn, the rooms in your home should be pet-proofed as much as possible before you bring your dog home. Decide which areas he’ll be allowed in and, if necessary, use gates to block stairs or rooms you’d like to keep him out of. In the areas where he’ll be spending time, be sure to put away electrical wires and vertical blind cords. Invest in trash cans that have lids with a tight seal, or keep them hidden in cabinets. Also, just like the lawn, your home should be free of plants and poisons (or at least out of the way where they can get to it) that could be harmful to your pet.
Click on the image below to get a full PDF copy of our "Top Foods Poisonous for Dogs," which includes how to avoid these things, but what to do if your dog is exposed to them.
Try to limit your Dog’s stress (and yours too)
As any dog owner knows, our furry friends can be a great source of comfort and companionship. However, they can also be a source of stress and anxiety, especially if we're bringing work home or working from home. Dogs can sense our tension and anxiety, and they may start to exhibit behavioral issues as a result. To help reduce stress for both you and your dog, it's important to create a calm and relaxed environment. This means setting aside time each day to play with them, providing them with plenty of exercise, and establishing regular routines. It's also important to avoid bringing work-related stress into the home by leaving work at the office and carving out some "me" time each day.
Plan for your time away
Once your home is adequately dog-proofed, you’ll want to have a plan for the time that you’re away from home, whether it’s all day for work or just for an hour while you do your grocery shopping. Make sure your dog has plenty of toys to play with and that he’s been fed and walked before you leave, which can help prevent destructive behavior. If he likes to look out the window, pull up the curtains or blinds so he’ll have easy access and won’t damage them. You can even look for a few tech accessories that will help you keep an eye on things or feed your dog from afar.
Caring for a pet takes patience, especially when you’re first getting to know one another. If you’ve never owned a dog before, do some research into the specific breed and into caring for dogs in general so you’ll know what to avoid and how to approach certain situations, such as separation anxiety. With some simple preparation, you can ensure that your pet is safe and happy for years to come.
This month's blog was written by a contributor, Susan Peterson, who writes her own blog at easytolovepets.com