13 Ideas to Create a Dog Friendly Home
Written by Adaptil, published on April 18, 2023
Dogs are very adaptable and are normally just happy to be around people that make them feel welcome and secure; but if you're bringing a new pooch into your home, you will need to do the groundwork to make sure you create a dog friendly environment where you will both be comfortable and that will help you build a bond to last a lifetime.
How to create a dog-friendly home
If you are bringing a new dog into your home, there are a few things to consider:
1. Start as you mean to go on!
Teaching your dog boundaries is essential if you are to live in harmony. As soon as you bring your dog home, make sure you lay some ground rules for everyone in the house to be aware of straight away so that your pooch gets a consistent message - for example if you don't want them to sit on the sofa, remove them each time they jump up and get them to settle in the space you want them to use instead; if you don't want them to sit drooling and watching you when you are eating, make sure you don't feed them from your plate. They will be much happier once they've learnt the rules!
Provide a cosy, comfortable space that your dog will be able to call their own. A quiet spot away from the main traffic areas of your home, that they can go to to rest, or just retreat to if they feel the need. This can be a comfortable bed in a corner of the room, or a crate that has lots of comfy bedding to help your dog feel secure.
Make sure their food bowls are in an area they can access easily (in a quiet area where they won't be disturbed when eating) and that their water bowl is topped up with fresh water regularly - if you have multiple dogs, make sure you space these out.
4. Mental stimulation
Keep your dog mentally astute by building regular playtime into their routine. Dogs like routine - they look forward to their meal times, they know when to expect you to arrive home, when it's time to go for a walk, and when it's time for fun and games. Keep them from being bored by providing puzzles/activity feeders or chews when leaving your dog alone.
But when at home, why not try a 'search & find' game by hiding some of their favourite treats around the home.
Giving them plenty of exercise and taking them on walks to different places will also help keep their mind active - with lots of new trees and smells to explore.
5. Bonding time
Give them some 'me' time. This might be in the evening sitting on the sofa watching TV and giving them a groom and a belly rub, or it could be regular training sessions when you both learn a new trick together.
6. Keep them safe
Keep anything hazardous out of your dog's reach, particularly if your dog is an inquisitive breed, like a hound, who like to sniff things out. Make sure that medicines, cleaning products or even some houseplants cannot be accessed and consumed by your pooch.
It's surprising how many household items can be dangerous for a dog! We all know that chocolate can be toxic for dogs, but did you know that some Spring flowers can also be dangerous? Our Dogs & Easter post will give you some common things to watch out for! Put them safely away in a cupboard or on a high shelf; installing a baby gate could also help keep your dog out of a room that may contain hazardous items.
Make sure your garden is dog safe and that they cannot escape through a broken fence, dig their way out, or leap over a low hedge.
7. Keep food out of reach
Dogs can be very resourceful if they think there's a forbidden treat to be had - like leftover food in a bin for example. Or, if you're having a TV snack, don't leave a plate on the floor - your dog will certainly think this is fair game, as only animals eat off the floor, right!?
8. Shelter outdoors
Some dogs like to be outside in the garden for long periods of time, so if you plan to leave the home whilst your dog is in the garden, make sure they have an appropriate place they can shelter in case the weather becomes inclement, too hot or they just want a rest. This can be a purpose built kennel, or it can be in an outbuilding - as long as there are no hazardous items/materials around.
Always make sure they have plenty of access to fresh water that will last for a long time. Drinking contaminated water from a container or puddle can be dangerous for your dog.
9. Be aware
Us humans like to celebrate and if you know of any upcoming events that might scare your pooch (like fireworks celebrations) make sure you protect your dog from frightening bangs and explosions as best you can by keeping them indoors and away from outside noises.
10. Remove chewable items
Dogs like to chew, so remember to make sure that any cables or wires are out of reach; put away your favourite slippers if you want them still to be 'a pair' when you need them and remove any kid's toys that you don't want your dog to chew. Instead, give your pooch something they can chew on - such as a KONG toy where you can also add peanut butter to keep them entertained.
11. Use positive reinforcement when training your pooch
Training your dog from a very early age is essential if you are going to create a happy, friendly home for both of you. Never resort to shouting or punishing your dog if training is taking longer than you want, but use positive reinforcement to teach your dog to behave in the way you would like them to. Encourage them to follow a cue and when they follow your instruction be sure to give them lots of praise, fuss and a tasty treat!
12. Consider your dog's age
If you have adopted a senior dog, rather than a puppy, their requirements may be different so bear in mind that:
- They might not need such long walks
- Two or three smaller meals might be better than one larger meal
- They may need more regular vet checks to ensure they keep healthy
- You may need to provide ramps to help them with access
- They might have difficulty in getting down low to their food and water bowl so you may have to raise them
- You may need to consider heating their bed or making sure it is close to a radiator to keep them warm.
13. Use ADAPTIL
Create a reassuring and comforting environment at all times by using an ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser, plugged into the room where your dog spends most of their time. ADAPTIL provides comforting messages to dogs of all ages, and extra help for them to relax in your dog friendly home. If you're welcoming a little puppy into your home, consider using ADAPTIL Junior Collar as well to help your newly adopted dog settle in and feel secure as they encounter new experiences.
Following our expert tips will help to ensure your bond with your dog goes from strength to strength.
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