Welcoming a dog into your family can be an enriching experience. It’s also a huge privilege that comes loaded with specific responsibilities. Just as your dog can bring joy, love, and hilarious escapades into your life, you want to ensure they have the best experiences in return. An essential part of this is creating a dog-friendly home that supports their needs and well-being.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to upend your house in favor of your dog’s requirements. Your home is an ecosystem that should be geared toward benefits for everybody living in it.
However, as your dog can’t make decor or design decisions for themselves, it certainly falls to you to consider how you can make it a more favorable environment for them.
We will look at three tips to help you make your home a more dog-friendly place.
Your dog will have a certain amount of self-preservation instinct. However, they can still be energetic and curious to the detriment of their well-being. Part of your responsibility as a dog parent is to ensure you take steps to minimize the potential hazards here. This will give your dog a healthier life but also reduce the vet bills you may otherwise have to pay.
Start by assessing your current surroundings for areas of concern. Are there fixtures and fittings with sharp corners or edges? Do you have cabinets or bookcases that could fall and injure your dog? Don’t just think about direct injury here; look at your household products.
If you’re using bleach to clean your toilet, your dog drinking toilet water could result in vomiting or burns to the throat and mouth.
If you live in an apartment, consider the floor. Heights can be a severe hazard for dogs. Your balcony area may be an excellent place for them to get fresh air throughout the day, but minimizing the potential for accidents is essential. Think about whether your wide-opening windows require protective coverings. Does your balcony railing need to be raised higher?
It can be wise to commit the potential hazards to paper to address them as a list you can check off along the way. Wherever possible, secure heavy objects like bookcases to the wall with a bracket to prevent them from being pulled over. Avoid putting breakables on top of cabinets most likely to be jostled or knocked while your pet plays.
Remember, keeping your home safe should be a regular consideration. Review and adjust at least once a year to account for any changes.
Use appropriate furniture
The choices you make about your furniture can enhance the atmosphere of your dog-friendly home. It helps to support your comfort and improves the function of the space. Remember that your pet will also use your furniture.
They may even be living with it more closely than you are. After all, they may be alone in the house when you’re at work. As such, selecting items appropriate for you and your dog is important.
There are various vital considerations when you’re looking for pet-friendly furniture. Durability, ease of cleaning, and even color are among the most relevant elements.
Your dog has claws and will likely be climbing around on your sofa. Not to mention that, particularly with puppies, you want to be sure you can easily remove dirty seat covers or spot-clean should accidents occur. Fur is a part of the reality of being a dog owner, too, so it’s wise to make color choices that won’t highlight shedding.
Many dog parents choose to purchase specific pieces of furniture for their pets to use exclusively. You don’t need to opt for an expensive dog chaise longue from a pet store. Patio seats with your dog’s favorite blanket or cushions can be a practical and affordable approach here. These pieces are often designed to be durable enough to withstand the elements. They usually handle heavy pet use and are easy to wipe clean.
Minimize unnecessary restrictions
Your dog spends much of its life within the confines of your home. Sure, you’ll take them for walks and perhaps go on vacation adventures together. But the fact is, you can’t always be with them to provide the stimulation they require. Make choices that give your dog a certain amount of freedom. The last thing they need is to feel cooped up and stressed out.
Dedicate some thought to how you can remove unnecessary restrictions in your home. Do that by providing open access not just to the house but also to your yard. Your pet’s size is not the only consideration when installing an appropriate pet door for this purpose.
However, choosing a doggie door involves more than just getting a single flap, and it would be best to consider several factors to ensure that it’s the right fit for your little (or not that little!) friend.
Different breeds enter differently, affecting the height where you install the door. The climate you live in may also mean you need a door sealed with varying types of weather-proofing to keep it functional in the long term.
Alongside free entry and exit, you must consider other forms of accessibility for your dog. If they are elderly or use a wheelchair, removing unnecessary restrictions is an essential quality-of-life activity.
Be wary of the potential for clutter on the floors in your dog-friendly home. Make sure there are ramps for any steps leading in and out of your house.
Create a dog-friendly home
When you’re sharing a home with a dog, it is essential to take steps to make sure it’s the right environment for them, too. Commit to regular safety reviews and address the hazards. Buy comfortable furniture that your dog enjoys that’s designed to mitigate damage.
Making sure your home provides your dog with a certain amount of freedom can reduce their stress. Some of these steps will require investment and consideration, but they’re part of being a caring and responsible dog parent.
Miles Oliver is a proud dog lover and an outdoor enthusiast. He can often be found writing on his patio with a hot cup of tea and his four-year-old border collie mix by his feet. When Miles is not working as an independent freelance writer, he is most likely mountain biking and roaming the great outdoors with his four-legged companion.