Before bringing your puppy or doggy home, there are a few things to prepare, which I talk about in the First-Time Dog Owners post.
In this blog post, I decided to do a deep dive into the impact of your home and environment on your pup’s life.
Creating a suitable environment for your dog is one of the five pillars in dog care and welfare.
There’s no need for major changes. I am not talking about remodelling your home! However, making some adjustments and taking safety into account will make a huge difference in your dog’s life.
Here’s the table of contents for this dog parents guide to a suitable dog environment:
Following the code of practice from the welfare of dogs (source), your dog’s needs a suitable environment and companion, among other basic needs:
Dogs have the right to a safe environment, protected against hazards and dangers. This is when dog-proofing your house comes in handy.
Also, your new puppy needs a safe and comfortable place to rest at home. If you have multiple dogs, each one will need a dog safe zone.
Dogs are social creatures that need human companionship, not necessarily other dogs. They have been bred to be human’s best friends, so ultimately they only need your company to be happy.
Continue reading to discover how to create a dog-friendly home. 🙂
Before your new pooch arrives at your home, one of the first things to do is go through your house and identify any possible hazards. Then with that, you can start considering where your doggy is going to be spending most of the time.
Dogs are naturally inquisitive and may put themselves in danger if they are left to explore, especially if the home is not dog-safe.
Safety is paramount in a dog-friendly home. Apart from removing possible hazards, like cables, you also want to create a toxin-free environment.
Let’s see how to do that!
The easiest way to dog-proof your home is to go through this room-by-room checklist:
Depending on your home plan, you might want to keep the door closed or install a dog gate to keep the kitchen inaccessible at times.
Keep the bathroom doors closed at all times, especially when you’re not in there, to limit your dog’s access since there’s no need for your pooch to be in there alone.
Since this is the main room of the house, as a rule of thumb always tidy up toys after playing. This rule applies to both your dog and your kids. This is the simplest solution to avoid confusion and to avoid hazards.
Do you know how to ensure your dog is safe when he’s alone at home?
Our Dog Home Alone Safety blog post can help with that – head over there to find out more!
Unless your dog sleeps in your room, bedrooms can be another off-limits space for your pooch.
If you’re planning to install a dog door, the hall entry is a great place to put it to restrict your dog from the rest of the house, especially if you have multiple floors.
Finally, get familiar with toxic products for your pooch that you find at home.
P.S. You can find the complete list of toxic products and also dog-friendly materials in our How to Make Your Home Dog-Friendly and Safe blog post.
Here are some things to consider and check off your list:
P.S. I cover some handy, practical tips for dog-proofing your garden and keeping your plants safe from your pooch in How to Make Your Garden Dog-Friendly And Safe.
Once your home is safe and dog-friendly, there’s one last thing you can do to make it comfortable for your dog.
A dog safe zone isn’t hard to create, but it does require some thought.
First of all, decide where you have room to create a permanent area just for your dog. It should be a place that your pooch has free access to since the goal is that he sees it as the BEST PLACE ever!
Think of it as an extended space of your dog’s sleeping area. That’s why you should choose a quieter area of your house. Your furry friend will go to his dog-safe zone when he needs to rest or if he’s feeling nervous.
Next step is to make it comfortable. So, what does your pooch need?
For ideas on what you can get, my Dog Safe Zone Kit list on Amazon shows you a list of dog beds and other basic necessities you should have for your pooch.
The last step is to introduce your puppy to his space and gradually teach him that it is okay to stay there by himself.
If you have a garden, consider the outdoors as an extension of your dog’s safe zone. You might want to facilitate the access through a dog flap and install a permanent outdoors dog house (Amazon link) there too. However, don’t let your dog sleep outside at night, even if it’s in a house dog.
Finally, if you have two or more dogs, create a space for each dog. Some might enjoy sleeping together. However, it’s good that they can have a space to call their own and retire there when they want to.
Dogs, like us, are social creatures and need company. Not only that, they enjoy and value human companions.
As a consequence, there’s no dog that enjoys being left alone. Some are able to handle the alone time better than others, but that doesn’t mean that they like it. Sadly, many dogs develop separation anxiety due to the long hours they spend alone or because they haven’t been gradually taught that staying alone for a while is okay.
Apart from your pooch feeling lonely when home alone, prolonged periods of alone time can cause behavioural problems that are going to be distressing for both of you.
That’s why it’s important to keep a balance. Provide your dog with entertainment when you leave your pooch alone and consider professional dog care to make sure your pooch isn’t left alone for an excessive amount of time.
Use my favourite dog care options while you are at work or on holidays for exploring your options.
When you are away, make sure that a responsible person is taking care of your pooch. When someone else is taking care of your furry friend, that person also has a legal responsibility to ensure your dog’s welfare.
This means that the carer understands dogs’ needs and knows how to provide for them. Since you are still legally responsible for your dogs even when they are not with you, ensure you leave your dog with a responsible carer.
When thinking of dog companionship, many dog parents think that they need to get another dog, so that they can keep each other company. However, you are your dog’s ultimate companion. Your dog only needs your attention and to spend quality time together. Dog parents who are able to provide for their doggies needs become their dogs’ heroes and gain their devotion.
However, that doesn’t mean that your pooch shouldn’t have contact with the outside world! Quite the opposite.
Socialization helps to expose your dog to different people, pets, sounds and situations. This helps your pooch to be more resilient when facing new and uncomfortable situations.
Puppies that are deprived of opportunities to develop social behaviours can become withdrawn, anxious and even aggressive when they become adults. This is likely to happen when pups are removed from their mother or littermates too early (also if they are not introduced carefully to their environment).
Ideally, you should make as many adjustments as you can and like, but as long as you cover your dog’s needs for a suitable and safe environment, you have achieved the goal!
Crafting a suitable dog environment will have a positive impact on your dog’s life and the bond you share. Your pooch will see you as the source of all things good, which increases your pup’s trust towards you.
Welcome your new pooch to your loving home!
Now that you have your dog’s environment needs covered…
Continue on to our Dog Care: The 5 Pillars to a Happy and Healthy Pooch blog post to complete the other 4 dog care and welfare pillars.