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  • Writer's pictureJenny

Turn Your Home Into a Paradise for Your Pooch

Any dog owner can tell you how easy it is for a pooch to take over your home. They become part of the family and often have everyone else wrapped around their finger (or paw). When it comes to the actual physical space of your home, your dog deserves to find comfort and happiness wherever they go. You might make a couple of rooms or spaces off-limits for four-legged friends, but any space where your dog is allowed should be suitable for their needs. In fact, if you really want your home to be dog-friendly, you can go beyond just suitable and make it a haven for your best friend.

Start By Making It Safe

Safety is paramount if you want your home to be a good place for your dog. Your home might be safe for people, but there are some extra concerns to consider if you want to make sure your dog isn't in any danger either. Dogs are a bit like toddlers, liable to get into everything and explore things with their mouths. So it's essential to think about how they might be able to get themselves in trouble and remove as many hazards as you can.

For example, anything in your home that you definitely wouldn't want your dog to eat needs to be safely shut away. Just as you would to babyproof your house, you need to store cleaning products and similar items somewhere your dog can't access them. It's important to keep both the inside and outside of your home tidy too. This prevents your dog from finding random things to chew on. Speaking of outdoors, fencing off your yard will make it a safer space for your dog to roam. Securing exit points could help prevent a great escape.

Create a Dedicated Dog Domain

You might want your whole home to be a paradise for your pooch, but it makes sense to give them their own space too. Not only does it help to contain some of their stuff within one area, but it also means your dog has somewhere to go when they want some peace and quiet. There are a few places you could use for your dog's very own domain. It could be a whole room or just a corner they can retreat to. It could even be a good way to use some dead space that's not useful for anything else, such as under the stairs or a small alcove or cubby.

What should be in this dog-friendly space? You might start with your dog's bed or crate, and perhaps add their food and water bowls. It could be a good place to store toys, hang up their leash, or organize other dog essentials.

Allow Easy Access to Outside

If you're lucky enough to have your own yard, it makes it much easier to give your dog the exercise and outside space they need. But if you're not very happy with letting them in and out all the time, you might want to look at other solutions. A sliding glass dog door can be installed right in your sliding door, allowing you to keep the aesthetics you want while improving your home for Fido. Dog doors can often be locked so you're still in control of when your dog can come in and out. Some are microchip operated too, ensuring only your dog (or your other pets) can get in and out.

Of course, if you're allowing your dog to come and go from your yard, it's important to make sure it's safe. This could include checking you have a solid fence, regularly clearing up your yard, and maybe installing a camera so you can keep an eye on what your dog is doing.

Have a Space for Cleaning Up

It's no secret that dogs can get messy. While some might be a little more fastidious about keeping clean, plenty of dogs love to roam around in mud and roll in anything they think smells good. So it's crucial to have somewhere to clean up your dog when you come in from outdoors, especially if you've been on a particularly muddy walk. This space might be perfect for a mudroom or garage, or perhaps a porch. Any space that's used for transitioning from outdoors to indoors can work. A laundry room could also be suitable.

You might want to use this space to hang some towels, keep a brush for brushing out dry mud and other debris, or store other tools for cleaning up your dog. You could even consider installing a shower or a small tub if you know you frequently need to get your dog presentable before allowing them in the house.

Set Up Food and Water Stations

Every dog needs somewhere they can eat and drink in peace. You might have just one dedicated eating area, but it's a good idea to have a few places where your dog can get a drink when they need one. Choose a space where your dog can eat their food without being bothered by other pets or people. This allows you to get into a good routine that your dog can follow. Put water bowls in a couple of different locations too. Consider putting one by the door so your dog can easily get a drink while enjoying time outside.

Help Out Little Dogs

For little dogs, it's a big world. This might be true for all dogs, to some extent, but smaller ones can find it a bit tougher to get around. They only have short legs and might have a more difficult time doing things like getting up and down steps or jumping onto furniture. If you have a smaller dog and want to give them a helping hand, there could be some things you can do. If you want to allow your dog to get on the bed or couch, a little set of steps could be useful. If there are steps that are a little too steep, a ramp can provide a more gentle climb or descent.

Think About Hot and Cold Weather

Very hot or cold days can be difficult for us to deal with, so imagine how hard it can be for your dog. Many dogs are built to handle colder or warmer weather, but that doesn't mean they all do well in extreme temperatures. Some potential problems can be combated with the right grooming routine, but there might be other steps you need to take in your home to make things more comfortable for your dog. If your dog's space is in the garage, for example, you might need to insulate it to make it warmer in winter and help keep it cool in summer. Creating a cool, shaded space in your yard (as well as inside) will help prevent your dog from overheating too.

It can also be a good idea to think about the materials you use in your home. Do they get too hot or too cold for your dog's paws? Are they too uncomfortable to lie on when the temperature dips or rises? It can be great to have a nice cooling floor in the summer, but not so good when it's still cold in the middle of winter.

Keep Your Pooch Active

Just like us, dogs can get bored. When they're bored, they can be destructive or they might even feel sad and depressed. By engaging your dog in lots of activity and giving them ways to explore, you can keep them entertained. There are a few ways you could set up your home to encourage your dog to stay curious and keep exploring. You could hide toys in different places for your dog to find, rotating their toys so they don't get bored of any of them. Outdoors, consider setting up obstacles or an agility course, or create lots of nooks and crannies for your dog to explore. Stimulate their senses with different (safe) plants and create things for them to go through and over, whether it's bushes, tunnels, ramps, or other items.

Make Your Home Tough

Maybe one of the most important things to do when creating a home fit for a dog is to make sure it can stand up to dog-related wear and tear. Even small dogs can cause damage through no fault of their own. Some things to consider might be your dog's claws on the floor or whether they're particularly likely to chew on anything in your home. By choosing robust materials and furniture, you can make sure your home isn't torn apart by your dog just existing there. You might want to choose wooden floors carefully, for example, to ensure they don't get too scratched. It could be best to avoid leather furniture if you're concerned it could easily be damaged by your dog climbing on and off.

Your home can be the perfect place for your dog if you give some thought to their needs. Think about how to make it not just safe but also stimulating for your best friend.


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