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They say dogs are man’s best friend, and for good reason. They love unconditionally and can accompany you just about anywhere. If you’re planning to get a new pup, you’ve likely done a little research on what it means to be a dog dad.
While thinking of how your life will change, you need to consider how your home will change, too. You have to make plenty of allowances for your new pet and you to feel comfortable in a shared space.
1. Tuck Away Cords
Any untrained dog, especially if it’s young and due for adult teeth, will be drawn to chewing on things. Don’t let electrical cords or other wires be one of those chewable items.
They could cause electrical burns or electrocution. Protecting your pooch means tucking them away or finding a neater way to organize them out of your dog’s reach.
2. Purchase All Necessities
Dogs aren’t cheap. You want to have all the necessary supplies before bringing your pup home. Purchase items like a dog bed, personalized collar tags, leashes and more before he sets paw in your house.
You don’t have to remember everything, of course. As long as you have a majority of what you need, you’ll feel at least somewhat prepared to be a good owner.
3. Put Away Your Valuables
Dogs, especially young ones or active breeds, can be a nightmare in a home. Find a new place to store your breakable items or collectibles, as anything on lower shelves — or higher, if your pet is tall — risks getting knocked over by a playful pooch or a powerful, wagging tail.
You should encourage your pup to play and feel safe in your home, so don’t scold it for accidentally breaking something. Instead, avoid the situation entirely by moving your precious items to a display case or higher shelves. You could even keep an “off-limits” room that your dog isn’t allowed in to house all your breakable items.
4. Prep Your Lawn
Your backyard will be an excellent place for your dog to exercise. Still, you have to remember that they can wear out a lawn over time, especially if you have more than one and they love to play. They can cause thin spots in your yard and leave holes.
Synthetic grass allows your dog to still have fun without making your backyard a patch of dirt. If you’re worried about dirt or mud being tracked into your home, synthetic grass might be an excellent choice for your home.
5. Socialize Other Animals
If you have other animals, now is the time to see how they react to dogs and get them adjusted to life with another pet. If you aren’t sure how they will respond to a new dog, consider enlisting the help of a family member or friend.
Have your loved one bring their friendly dog over for a visit. Your other animals will get accustomed to a new creature in their space and may adjust easier to life with a new family member. Remember, it’s easier to socialize animals when they’re younger. If any of your pets don’t react well to newcomers, consider putting off getting a new dog for a while until you have time to socialize your existing pets adequately.
6. Acquire Cleaning Products
Dogs are messy animals, from fur to pawprints to accidents. Dogs shed majorly about twice a year, but they can also do so regularly depending on several factors like stress, hair life cycle and more. If you have more than one dog, you may find that a daily sweep of fallen hair is necessary, and you’ll have to break out the vacuum regularly.
If you’re bringing home a puppy or senior dog, consider getting some puppy pads. They may not have been properly potty trained or can’t hold it for long hours anymore. Puppy pads often come with a scent that entices dogs to use the bathroom on them. Once you train your young dog to use a puppy pad in case of emergency, you can work on getting it to go to the bathroom outdoors.
7. Make a Training Plan
Training begins the day after you bring your dog home. You want it to get used to its new surroundings, but you should also take care to guide it to see you as an authority and the pack leader. Training your dog may be challenging and require plenty of patience, but knowing that your pup listens to you can prepare you both for later excursions off the leash.
Add a Dog for More Joy
Life with dogs might be a challenging adjustment, but once you know your pup’s quirks, you’ll be ready to take on the world with it.
Do your research on breeds and ages before you determine which dog would be best for your lifestyle, and you’ll feel well-equipped to handle anything life throws at the two of you.