Dogs bring a lot of love and companionship into our lives – but unfortunately, they sometimes bring hair, dirt, and chaos into our homes too. No matter what size your dog is, welcoming a new canine member of the family means you’ll have to make a few changes that will enable them to live comfortably and happily with you. Here are some tips that will help you transform your home into a dog-friendly environment without making it look like a kennel. Let’s get started.
Renovate with Your Dog in Mind
Making your home comfortable and accessible for your four-legged companion may require a few minor renovations here and there. From built-in kennels that look more like classy linen closets to doggy showers in the laundry room, there are many small renovations you can do that will make life easier for you and your pet.
When you need to close off certain areas of your home and create a temporary dog-free zone – like when you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner or entertaining guests who don’t share your love of animals – the easiest solution is to add a doggy door to your kitchen area, staircase or another access point. You can find this useful DIY item at most large hardware retailers – ask the store assistant to help you find the best doggie door for sale, or take a look at the different models that are available online.
Floor-level windows can be installed easily in many rooms, and provide your dog with a view of the outside world. You’ll notice a difference in your dog’s behavior immediately, as it spends hours at the window – and stops chewing your new rug.
Your backyard is an excellent place to build dog-friendly facilities like outdoor kennels, play areas and even a dog pool for hot summer days when your pet just needs to cool off. These structures are affordable and easy to assemble – and they make a great family DIY project too.
Choose Practical Furnishings
If you have pets or kids, you’ll know how difficult it can be to keep your furniture clean and well looked-after. Paw prints on white sofas, chewed rugs, and the unfortunate accidents that puppies (and even fully-grown dogs) seem to have so often can really take their toll on your furnishings. Instead of frustrating yourself and spending your spare time cleaning furniture and keeping your dog off of it, you’ll need to take a practical approach and furnish your home with your new family member in mind.
Hard-wearing materials like leather make excellent furniture choices for pet owners, and you can always save your current chairs and sofas from being damaged by investing in some throws and pet chairs that create a pet-friendly barrier. You could also consider buying a piece of furniture that matches your decor and is reserved only for your dog – many dog breeds are territorial and react positively to having their own space in the house. When accidents do happen and your dog makes a mess, react calmly but firmly and use a high-quality furniture cleaning product to remove stains without ruining your upholstery fabric.
Make Floors Easy to Clean
With the risk of muddy paws – or something worse – soiling your floors on a daily basis, the last thing you want to have in a dog-friendly home is thick shag pile carpeting or a valuable collection of Persian rugs. Hardwood or laminate flooring is easy to keep clean, especially when your puppy is still being house trained. If you do want to include some carpeting in your home, opt for rugs that aren’t too expensive and are easy to clean – you’ll probably be replacing them on a regular basis.
You can also choose to keep some rooms of your home dog-free, especially your study, home office, dining room or other places where you entertain guests or meet with clients. These spaces are the perfect place to display your valuable decor items and indulge in plush flooring materials. Just make sure to keep your doggy door closed, because nothing sparks a dog’s curiosity more than a no-go zone.
Develop a Dog-Friendly Mindset
Having a dog in the house can add so much to your daily life – but there’s no denying that dogs are different than humans. You’ll need to accept that your dog has needs and abilities that aren’t the same as ours, and make exceptions while training your new pet to be manageable. Dogs need to be well fed and stay hydrated and taken for daily walks and playtime in the park to keep them occupied and happy. A dog that’s causing trouble at home is likely bored or looking for attention – and you’ll have to schedule a time to meet your new family member’s needs each day.
Your daily routine may also need a few tweaks if you’re a first-time dog owner. Feeding, bathing and keeping your pet happy can become enjoyable activities that help you bond with your dog without taking up too much of your time. You’ll also need to schedule your home and work routine to ensure that your dog is fed and walked regularly, or invest in a dog sitter if you don’t have time.
Family time is the perfect opportunity to bond with your dog – especially while watching TV or movies, going to the park, or even taking a short family vacation at a dog-friendly resort. You’ll soon find yourself seeking out activities that are dog-friendly and convenient for all members of your family – even those with four legs.
Welcoming a dog into your family doesn’t need to be difficult at all, and if you follow some of the tips in this article, you’ll create an environment where your new pet is happy and well-behaved. By investing in dog-friendly modifications to your home, you’ll create a space where several generations of pets can live and become part of your family’s life journey. If you’re ready to make your home dog friendly, start making a list of requirements and set a budget for renovations today – it’s an investment in your family’s future happiness.