Bringing a Shelter Dog Home: How to Create a Safe and Welcoming Environment
Everyone knows that adopting a dog is a heartwarming experience, a chance to make a massive difference to a dog’s life. If you are adopting a dog, you will want to make sure your home is as accommodating as possible to your new furry-friend, so these are some tips to make your home a safe and welcoming space that they will flourish in:
1. Stock Up on Supplies
Before you start on the big changes, make sure you have the little things taken care of first. Going to your local pet store is one of the first steps of preparation before you bring your dog home. You don’t want to leave your new dog at home alone, so you must stock up on things before they arrive, not after. You should ask for advice from the shelter on what food they like to eat, so you can start them off on the same, which will help to avoid any tummy troubles. You can also find out a bit more about what types of toys they might like to play with, as pet stores have heaps of choices, and it can be hard choosing which ones to pick. Make sure you have a harness and leash ready, as well as poo bags too.
2. A Quiet Space
While bringing a dog home is exciting, a nervous dog will seek shelter in a quiet spot while they become accustomed to their new surroundings. Setting up an area where they can feel safe and retreat from attention is essential. This could be a suitably sized dog-crate with blankets inside, set up somewhere quieter and out of the way. Make sure your dog knows where this space is, so they have somewhere to hide if they need to. It can take a little bit of time for your dog to open up, so make sure you don’t bother them when they are in their space; they will come to you when they are ready for attention.
3. Preparing the Home
Most of us have houses that are already well-suited to pets. Adding in pet-furniture is an easy adjustment to make, so setting up their dog-bed and their water and food bowls can be quickly done. There are some bigger changes that may be required, though, depending on your home layout. Crawl spaces need to be blocked off, so your dog doesn’t get stuck anywhere they shouldn’t be. Consider gates on staircases to stop your dog from using the stairs.
4. Outdoor Space
Your yard should be fully fenced off and secure, to make sure your dog does not escape, but also make sure to keep an eye on them while they are outdoors. Theft is a big issue when it comes to outdoor dogs. If you have a garden, you should check that you don’t have any poisonous plants. If you have grass, be aware that dogs can dig holes and that their urine will kill your grass. There is also the issue of bacteria and dirt so that you might consider artificial grass as a more hygienic solution. You can get pet-safe, toxin-free artificial grass, and dogs absolutely love it.
5. Remove Pet-Dangers
Just as you would child-proof your home, you need to make your home pet-safe. This can involve moving plants to a higher-up place, as many plants are poisonous to pets. You should ensure cables are out of reach, unplugged from sockets, and blocked off to avoid electrical accidents. All cleaning products and chemicals must be secured in a cupboard or up-high, and make sure your garden is free from any harmful items like weed-killer and pest control pellets. You should also keep small items like batteries in a drawer, as if they can be swallowed, they are a choking hazard. Another big danger to pets is medication, so painkillers, asthma inhalers, and any other drugs should be stored safely in a medicine cabinet or out of reach. Be aware of your kitchen and trash storage, too, as lots of food we eat is toxic to animals.
Every shelter dog will be thrilled to have a new home and family to love, no matter what kind of house you have. With these easy improvements, your apartment can be entirely pet-friendly. You can make a huge difference in a dog’s life by adopting them, and they will bring home lots of love for you too!