Before your bundle of fur comes home with you for the first time, it’s imperative that you consider the dangers that may lurk there, both for your dog and for your items. You have many dangerous elements around the house that can be poisonous, treacherous, or just plain gross. (You definitely want to keep the lid on the toilet, for example).
Prepare Your Home
Poisons: Dogs can get into anything that is at their height. Make sure that cabinets that contain cleaning supplies are locked up tight and that the trash has a solid lid. There are a number of plants that are toxic to dogs including azaleas and poinsettias. Make sure to keep them out of your pup’s reach. Outside can be just as important to monitor as inside. Make sure to use pet- friendly products like fertilizers and ice melt. And, it’s crucial to know what foods can be bad for dogs like chocolate, grapes, and garlic. If a dog gets a hold of one of these foods and seems ill you will need to take him to the vet right away.
Your personal items: Particularly with puppies, but really with all dogs, there is some possibility of your items being thrashed by a dog either intentionally or accidentally. If you have breakable or precious items, keep them out of reach. A wagging tail or excited run can be enough to shatter a favorite vase or frame. In addition, try to move sharp objects away from where a dog might get to it. If you want to keep your dog in a certain part of the house you will of course want to get pet gates, but ask your vet about them because not all gates are for all dogs. Some dogs can climb gates easily and some simply leap over them.
Crate: Dog’s love a private place and a crate is a great way to help your dog have that space.
Leash, Collar & Harness: A collar will be important for ID tags and while a harness may not be necessary, it’s been shown that small dogs and dogs that aren’t leash-trained can harm themselves with a simple collar/leash combination. The length of the leash you want is up to you, but keep in mind that the longer the leash the more possibility of tangles and of losing control of your dog on walks
Bowls: A good tip is to get metal, non-slip bowls. Metal is easier to keep clean and won’t break — a non slip surface is useful to keep the food area clean.
A Bed: Again, dogs want their own space and a nice soft dog bed is great. Check on your breed to see what they prefer as far as comfort.
Chipping and fixing: It’s highly recommended to get your dog both micro-chipped and spayed or neutered. The chip will help you find your dog if she runs off and fixing helps the population control and is actually required by a number of places.
Of course there’s a lot to think about. Getting a dog comfortable in a new setting is a pretty involved process. If you feel overwhelmed a bit, Your Best Digs has some great checklists to keep you on track and help your new dog feel more comfortable at home.
Sarah is a Content and PR manager at Your Best Digs. She’s passionate about evaluating everyday home products to help customers save time and money. When she’s not putting a product’s promise to the test, you’ll find her hiking a local trail or collecting stamps in her passport.