As the saying goes, dogs are a man's best friend - but they can be a bit of a nuisance at times too! If you're tired of your dog scratching your couch and raiding your garbage can, it’s time to dog proof your home. If you're thinking of getting a dog, take these tips into consideration before you take the plunge. Having a dog can be a wonderful experience, but only if both you and your pet are comfortable. Our ten tips for a dog proof home will help you keep your dog safe and your house in order!
Whether your dog is an old tearaway or puppy-in-training, these tips for a dog proof home will help!
#1: Think Baby Proof
You’ve heard about baby proofing a home, and many of the things you would do when baby-proofing should also be done for dogs. Devices that are dangerous for children can also harm dogs. When you prepare your home for a dog, think like you are getting ready for a baby. For instance, start by installing baby gates to keep your dogs out of certain areas. This can protect the dog and your possessions, and help with training too. Remember that dogs are curious animals, and they like to chew everything in sight - even items that might be dangerous. As such, you should work on covering the electrical outlets and power strips so the dog cannot get to them.
It is also a good idea to get safety locks for kitchen and bathroom cabinets so dogs can’t get into detergents, cleaners and other toxic items that could harm them. These toxic products are bad for their health, but they also might make them sick and leave another mess for you to clean up. To get an idea of where your dog may be able to reach, get on your hands and knees and crawl around at the height of the dog! Anything that looks dangerous might need to be changed before you bring the dog into the house. Keep in mind that dogs can also jump and explore higher elements. Confining the dog to a certain area of the house that you know is safe when you are away is a good idea, or you can keep a closer eye on things when you are home. Dog proofing the home as if you are having a baby will safeguard both the dog and your house, and if you ever do have a child come in, you’ll be ready to go!
Tip #2: Contain the Trash
Dogs love to root around in the trash - they smell the leftover food and can’t resist. Dog owners hate this aspect of ownership because it leaves garbage all over the floor and puts the dog at risk of getting sick. One of the best options is to get a pull-out trashcan so the dog cannot get to the trash. Smaller dogs also do well with metal trashcans that have lids you step on to open.
Tip #3: Close Doors
If you don’t want your dog lying on your bed or making a mess out of the pillow, take care in closing the doors. One of the most simple tips for a dog proof home is to keep your dog out of those areas to avoid having a mess later on!
Tip #4: Get Rid of Clutter
Some dogs love to chew and don’t care if you haven’t read the magazine yet or if they ruin your favorite shoes. Once you know this, it’s up to you to avoid leaving things lying around. Banish all clutter from the dog's reach - put things up high or in bins and get rid of the temptation.
Tip #5: Consider a Dog Crate
If you have to watch over your dog at all times due to his or her inquisitive nature, consider a crate for occasions when you need to leave the house for half an hour or so. This is especially ideal for untrained puppies who wreak havoc in their midst! Some dogs enjoy having a “home” to themselves too, which you can stock with food, water, a dog bed, blankets and more. Never leave your dog in a crate for prolonged periods of time, though.
Tip #6: Use Patterns and Colors
No one wants to have their home covered in dog hair at all times, but dog owners don’t have time to clean all day, either. The best option is to look for decor like rugs that feature small patterns in different colors. Between vacuuming sessions, the hair won’t show as much.
Tip #7: Secure the Perimeter
When you have dogs, letting them outside is necessary. You might take them for walks or let them out to play or use the yard on their own. In order to safely do this, you need to secure the perimeter of the house and ensure there are no harmful plants in the garden which could be consumed by your pet. Many dog owners put up fences; others simply put the dog on a leash or rope with a long lead for yard exploration. Decide on a plan and put it into action to keep your dog safe and secure outside.
Tip #8: Choose Hard Floors
It is hard to keep dog hair away, but dogs bring in a lot of dirt and it’s impossible to keep carpeting clean. If you want a dog proof home, go with hard surface floors in the locations where the dog resides. Tips for a dog proof home include using something like ceramic tile, which is easy to clean and won’t stain. Painted concrete is highly durable and aesthetically pleasing. Any hard floor will do better with smells, accidents, hair and dirt, and you can provide your pooch with a washable dog bed to ensure it has somewhere comfortable to lie down!
Tip #9: Use Washable Fabrics
There’s no way to keep the dog off every piece of furniture in the house when you are not home. If you know your dog is going to sit somewhere, protect that item with something washable. Lay out a few blankets that you can easily pull off the couch and throw into the washing machine. Make sure the fabric is stain-resistant.
Tips #10: Training and Grooming
One of the best tips for a dog proof home is quite simply to take good care of your dog. If he or she is washed and groomed regularly, they will not shed as often or smell unpleasant. That can go a long way in keeping your home nice, and is especially important for long-furred dogs. Your pooch should also be trained to behave properly, stay off furniture which is delicate, and not chew up precious items. Staying on top of grooming isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. Training is not a short-term endeavor, but with perseverance you will get there eventually.