You have made the life-changing decision that you and your family want to add an extra addition to your household. This is a super exciting period in your life. I have been a dog owner all my life and I am the first to tell you how dogs have changed my life in many amazing and incredible ways. One of the things that always surprises me about dog ownership is how little people really know about how to prepare your house for your new arrival. There are so many things you can do to make your life with your new best buddy easier.
We all know the normal list of items you need for any dog, Lots of love, A warm bed, food for their tummy, plenty of exercises health care etc. but I want to talk about things you may not know you can do to make your and their life easier. Here are some handy hints and tips.
Let's start with one of the best and biggest things you can do to help yourself. Get wooden flooring in the areas you plan on having your dog. A dog will have some accidents when they get ill. They can wee, vomit or poo in the house. Unfortunately for you, they can not always tell you they need to go out so they will go where they can. It is a fact of dog ownership. Imagine your cream carpet in the worst-case scenario. I know the horror. The smell of dog wee on a carpet lingers even with all the best cleaners.
I recommend getting Solid wood flooring as it is the best and most hard-wearing. Wood flooring is easier to keep your home clean and germ-free. I know this has an initial expense but believe me, in the long run, this will save you a fortune. But not only will it save you money it will add value to your home too. Did you know that most buyers look for this in a potential home? No well, they do. So make your home more dog friendly and add value to your home Win-win.
Wood flooring is so much easier to keep clean and tidy. Dog hair gets worn into carpets and no matter how many times you get the vacuum out, your carpet will always have some dog hair in it. It is so much easier to sweep wooden flooring and give it a quick mop. Plus I love the aesthetic of wooden flooring its just so appealing.
If you are going to only let your furry friend in a certain area of your home you are going to need to get some baby gates. This is not only to keep the dog out of the areas you dont want them in but it is also for the safety of the dog. A puppy should never have unsupervised access to a staircase or low opening window. This could lead to a very bad situation. So get some baby gates and protect them from themselves.
You might think I am crazy here but your doorbell can be a major cause of fear in your dog. Dogs hearing is a lot better and different from ours. You may have to consider changing your doorbell or installing another form of door knocking. To some dogs this sound is worse than nails on a chalkboard to other it will not bother them at all. But this is something to consider.
Unusual things you need to buy.
Raised dog bowl
One of my pet hates when I visit other dog owners are dogs being feed on the floor. I have a Springador and Dalmatian. Both my dogs have dog bowl stands for their food. Millie the springador's one is lower than her brothers Mylos. You would never eat your dinner with your head down, would you? No why not? Well, because it can lead to choking. So why would your domesticated dog be any different? Yes, they are animals but they are domesticated animals who have evolved like us to be house dogs. They are no longer hunter-gathers. Just like our food, their food comes from packets and they need to eat it with head up so it can travel down to their stomach. It makes sense to have a raised bowl.
Also a quick note on food. When you are giving your dog their food did you know you should be covering it in water? Some dogs can be super lazy and if you do not give them water with their dinner they can become dehydrated. This happened with Millie and she actually gave herself a growth in her bladder from not drinking enough water. Now all her food is covered in water this has not been a problem. The vet told me this is actually a common problem in dogs.
Wait for what? Yes, get some cat litter. I have written a full post on how to clean up after your dog has been sick. putting cat litter on the vomit makes it so much easier to clean up. This is a trick I learned whilst working in the theatre where quick turnarounds in cleaning the auditorium are commonly placed.
When dogs get an upset stomach the best thing to do is to starve them for a period of time. Then slowly start to introduce a bland diet of rice and chicken. I always make sure I have some rice in the cupboard to make sure I am prepared for any sore tummies we might have. This happens a lot with Mylo Dalmatian are know to have sensitive tummies.
It is really important that your garden is dog-proof. You need to have a secure area for your dog to roam about free from the risk of them escaping. In your garden you can control them but once they escape they can be like ninjas and they can disappear in minutes. Also, remember that dogs grow fast.
I was once a nail tech. I used to do peoples nails in the village I live in. Mylo (Dalmatian) was only about 10 month at the time. This day I was doing the nails of a lady just down the road. So I just walked down to her house and got to work. It wasn't until she got a call from one of our neighbour to say look outside that we noticed anything was wrong.
Mylo had grown big enough to open the front gate. Our neighbour noticed Mylo and Millie leave the garden and head on the footpaths to where I was working. I could hear the neighbour laughing on the phone. He explained that he was about to get them when he noticed they were walking so nicely side by side on the pavement that he would just watch them a minute. They crossed two roads to get to where I was working. He said it was like watching to well-behaved children. They were that control and seemed to stop at the crossing and wait. (Don't worry we live in a very small village and if they were in danger, believe me, that neighbour would have been the first to save them.) They were outside in my clients garden waiting for me. They were just sat there like hurry up mum.
The moral of the story is dog grow fast and their Sisters can influence them to be naughty. So make sure your garden is completely safe and secure. From that day on our has been secured. As funny as that story is it would have easily been a horror story.
Not many people know this but there are a lot of common garden plants which are highly poisonous to dogs. So you will need to check your garden. Here is a list of ones you need to evacuate from your garden immediately before your furry friend comes to stay.
There are so many more to watch out for but this gives you an idea and I bet you didn't even think about this.
I hope this post has made you think of the more unusual things you need to do to prepare your home for your new dog.