Make Your Home a Haven for Your Dog’s Comfort and Safety
Why setting up your home to care for your dog is important…
Before you bring home a new puppy or adopt a rescue dog, ask yourself several questions about what role the family dog will play in your home life. Children in the home will influence how much time you can spend with your new furry buddy. When you live alone, your dog will likely be your best friend and housemate! When you are adults only in the household, a dog adds a new dynamic to relationships that may require some adjustment. Here are ways to make sure your pooch’s introduction to their new home is smooth.
Basic supplies to meet your dog’s needs
Food, water and shelter are number one considerations for the canine family member.
Food and water: sturdy bowls that will not slip or tip over, preferably with a rubber strip around the base that is wide at the bottom and narrow at the top bowl area.
Shelter: crate or kennel training is a highly recommended method to teach any new tail wagger what their space is and give them sanctuary when they are anxious.
Bedding: plush padding, pillow and blanket inside the crate or kennel defines the space as a cozy spot where they will want to retreat. Older and larger dogs may be easily encouraged to go to a bed that they know as their personal territory.
When a new dog is introduced to a household, it is a good idea to place these basic items in near proximity to each other, to avoid your fur pal having to search for them. A laundry room, mud room or corner of the kitchen is a good place to break in your doggie before you let them have the run of the entire house.
Enhanced accessories for your pup’s breed mix and personality
Accessories for play, walks, cuddles and exercise will vary according to a dog’s size, breed mix, age and instincts.
Toy, miniature and small breeds will require smaller toys that fit in their mouths yet are not so little that they will swallow them. The bigger the dog, the larger the toy may be.
Plush toys for teething and cuddling are great fun for all sized fur babies and are helpful to use in indoor training.
Chew and tug toys keep your furry chewer from getting into trouble by chewing on the wrong things, like your shoes or furniture!
Collars, leashes and harnesses come in all sizes, and many material choices. A new pup will do well with a harness that fits around their shoulders and upper torso, giving them stability as you walk them on a leash, and helps you teach them not to pull.
Medium to larger dogs may do well on a collar as long as they were well-trained. To the “heel” command when young.
A leash or a lead is really up to the master. Do you need metal between you and your doggie or is leather or a nylon mesh more comfortable for both of you?
While collars are for walking, they are also fashion statements for you and your pooch. Pretty floral, stripe, sports logo, leather and ribbon collars function well for doggie dress-up as well as holding their tags and special charms on the collar D-ring!
Of course, your fur baby’s “blankie” that he or she sleeps on is a primary comfort to them. An ultra soft crate pad or blanket throw is nice to place on your sofa, an easy chair or bed when your snuggle bug with a tail wants to be near you.
Dog purse carriers come with plush interiors that give your ear flopper that weighs less than 15 lbs. security and comfort as they travel next to you.
Skills you need as the dog trainer, parent and companion
As the master, owner and pack leader, the way you train your four-pawed family member is key to their success in the family unit!
1. Attend training classes with your pup.
2. Before your pooch moves in, become familiar with the 7 basic commands: Sit, Stay, Down, Come, Heel, Off and No, and how to teach them by watching the experts. Some of our favorites are: Brandon McMillan of Lucky Dog TV series, Cesar Milan, the Dog whisperer and the American Kennel Club website.
3. Start your pup’s training immediately, with proper treats, praise, kindness and above all…patience!
A well-trained, socialized doggie is a pleasure to be around, both for you and your dog, as well as other family and friends!
Finally, there is nothing that compares to having a furry, four-legged, ear-flopping, tail wagging best friend to share your home, life and long-term partnership with! The lesson of unconditional love from a canine companion spills over into your everyday interactions, like a bit of angel dust!