02 August 2014

Ways to Make Your Home Dog Friendly


You strive to make your home a warm and  inviting place for everyone in the family. For many of us, that also includes those of the wet nose, four-footed persuasion. Dogs give us so much love and expect very little in return. When you think about it, most of your dog’s world revolves around you and confines of your house and yard. As a responsible pet parent, you want to return the love and provide an environment that makes them happy. A dog friendly home means one that is as comfortable for them as it is for you.

Make Safety a Priority
A big part of making your home comfortable for a dog is making it safe. The typical household can hold many dangers for our furry friends. Eliminate access to electrical cords and cables by hiding them behind furniture or placing them inside cord protectors. Latch cabinets that house products containing hazardous chemicals, such as cleaners, pesticides, antifreeze and fertilizers. Store foods and medications in upper cabinets and out of paws’ reach. Remove trash every day from inside the home and make sure outdoor trash cans are sealed securely. Ensure indoor and outdoor plants are pet safe.

Stay Tidy
Face it, dogs are animals and as such, they do their fair share in contributing to household messes. However, you can maintain order by doing a few things to make the clean up a little easier. Brush your dog at least twice each week to reduce shedding. Vacuum floors and furniture regularly to minimize hair accumulation and reduce odor. If your dog is prone to potty accidents or vomiting, remove carpeting and replace it with durable tile, vinyl or laminate. Life would be a dream if we all had a dog mudroom to tidy up our pup after a brisk walk through the rain or snow. A spot just inside the back door easy-clean flooring and storage for pet supplies is all you need.

Set Boundaries
Some dogs seem content lazing in their favorite spot all day. Others are quite curious and love to constantly investigate their surroundings. Whether its sneaking upstairs and unfurling the toilet paper roll or getting underfoot during dinner parties, dogs can be adorable pests. Setting boundaries for your pooch may seem harsh, but it will make life more enjoyable for everyone. A stylish dog gate provides a barrier from temptation while you’re gone and keeps your buddy safely out of the way when guests arrive.  

Create a Comfy Den
Deep down in their primordial DNA, dogs are den dwellers. They need to retreat to their own space when tired, anxious or stressed. Consider training your dog to use an indoor crate.  Crates offer your dog a quiet sanctuary away from the commotion of family life. They also work well for housetraining pups and curbing separation anxiety when you leave the house for short periods. Once your dog understands the crate is their sanctuary, they will seek it out whenever they need a break. Avoid the austere look of a metal cage by purchasing a decorative crate cover or wooden crate that doubles as an end table. 

Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Your yard should be a place of enjoyment for your dog. Channel their boundless energy by creating a unique backyard recreation area that will benefit the entire family. A mini agility course helps build strong bonds and trust between you and your best friend. It also provides mental and physical stimulation to relieve doggie boredom and prevent destructive behavior. Set up a few common agility obstacles like jumps, weave poles and tunnels, making sure your dog has plenty of space in which to maneuver. Provide water and a shady area for your pal to cool down after agility sessions.

Add Practical Extras
Your faithful companion never wants to leave your side. However, older dogs may have trouble safely getting into the car or hopping onto the sofa for cuddle time. Purchase a ramp or portable stairs to make it easier for them to get around. If you are always looking for your dog's leash and plastic bags before your morning constitutional, consider making a handy wall organizer to keep everything in one place. Use beadboard for the back surface and outfit it with hooks for leashes and a box to dispense bags. Top it off with crown molding, decorative trim and a colorful coat of paint. Tired of your pooch's messy feeding area? Dogs and humans alike will look forward to Fido's dinnertime with a feeding station integrated into your kitchen design. It's an ingenious and stylish way to get dog bowls out from under foot and have food storage close at hand.

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