There are so many wonderful things about having a dog as part of your family, particularly when you have children. Dogs bring such unconditional love to all family members and are a great way to teach kids about responsibility.
However, before you bring a new dog into your family you should make some preparations to ensure not only your home but your family is ready for everything that comes along with having a new pet. If you are not prepared for your new family member it can be disastrous.
If you are thinking of getting a pet or about to get a pet this article is for you. In this post I cover off on my top 10 tips on how to prepare your home for a new dog.
10 Ways to Prepare your Home for a New Dog
1. Pick a Breed that fits in with your Family
Out of all the tips in this article this is the most important one. It is essential that you choose a dog breed that will fit in with your families lifestyle. Here is a few things to consider to help you choose the right breed:
- Do you have a big yard or small yard?
- Is your family super active or just likes to get out once and a while?
- Are you up for the challenge of training a pup or do you want a dog that is already trained?
- Are you prepared to groom your dog everyday?
- How hold are your children?
All of these above questions will help you decide which breed is right for your family. Click here for more information about choosing a breed for your family.
2. Decide who will feed and walk the Dog
It is better to have the arguments now about who is going to walk the dog and when, who is responsible for feeding the dog and who is going to do .. ahem poo patrol.
A family dog should be everyone’s responsibility. If your children are old enough there is absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t be involved with taking care of the new dog, in fact I believe it is an ideal time to teach them about responsibility.
3. Enroll in a Obedience Class
If your new dog is a puppy or an untrained dog I highly recommend enrolling in some local dog obedience classes. A well trained dog can make the difference between absolute chaos and a new member of the family that fits right in at home.
Obedience training can be challenging, so I highly recommend that a member of the family who is up for the challenge takes up this responsibility.
4. Purchase all the Essential Items
You don’t want there to be a mad rush to purchase all your new family members things once they arrive, so buy this before they come home for the first time. As to what you need will depend upon the breed of your dog, but here are a few items to consider:
- Food Bowl;
- Water Bowl;
- ID Tag – with name and cell number engraved;
- Worm and flea tablets;
- A dust buster or vacuum ideal for picking up pet hair;
- Grooming supplies
- Odor Neutralizer; and
Make sure you visit your local pet store and sign up for any loyalty card before you make all your purchases – as you can see setting up home for a pet can be expensive so you might as well make the most of any discounts up front.
5. Making your home Doggy Proof
If your pooch is going to be allowed inside then you should look around your house to see if it is doggy proof. What I mean by that is are there anythings on the ground that the new dog may chew – particularly if your new family member is a puppy. Tape down electrical cords, put breakable items up high or away
Perhaps there are areas of the house that pooch is not allowed, if this is case set up some dog gates – you can easily buy these second hand online.
Set up an area of the house that your dog will eat, an area for it to sleep. Better to consider this now before the chaos when your new fur baby arrives home.
6. Ensure your Yard is Doggy Proof
Possibly even more important than making the inside of your home doggy proof is to ensure your yard is dog proof. Go around and check that there are no holes that your dog could escape from, that gates are tight and can’t be rattled opened. Is your fence high enough so that your dog can’t jump over?
Put away any gardening chemicals as well as any gardening tools that your pooch could hurt themselves on.
If your dog is going to an inside / outside dog perhaps consider installing a doggy door so they can come in and out as they please.
7. Make an Appointment with a Veterinarian
A day or 2 after you bring your new dog or puppy home it is a great idea to get him or her checked out by a local vet. Its a great idea to set up this relationship early on so that your veterinarian can record your new family members help and identify any issues over time. You also want to know where to take your dog in the case of an urgency.
After your visit to the veterinarian, write on your calendar any future appointments as well as dates where any ongoing medication needs to be given such as worm or flea treatments.
8. Set Up Pet Insurance
Accidents can cost thousands and you don’t want to be the one to decide whether or not your loved dog will or won’t have medical treatment. So do yourself a favor and get online, compare some pet insurance policies and find one that suits your needs. Take this out before your pooch arrives so you don’t need to worry about it again.
9. Set Boundaries with your Family
Whilst your kids might be happy for their new friend to sleep on their beds, maybe you don’t want them too. Or perhaps you need to set rules about feeding the dog scraps from the dinner table or treats in their bedrooms. Call a family meeting and discuss these rules before pooch arrives.
Make sure your kids know what you expect from them in relation to their new dog so there are no arguments in the future.
10. Get your New Family Member!!
OK so not really a tip for preparing your house for your new lovable family member. Remember it is going to be an exciting day for everyone and the first day of a lifetime of wonderful memories.