When you’ve made the decision that the time is right to get a dog, there are a few other things you’ll need to consider while waiting to welcome your new four-legged friend into your home. Our pets are a wonderful addition to family life and we give them unconditional love. We make adjustments from rescheduling our holidays to learning heimlich for dog, so taking some steps towards the health and happiness of your dog – and the rest of your family – with a few home improvements is a great idea.
Is Your Flooring Pet Proof?
The first thing to consider is the flooring in your house, especially in high traffic areas that the dog is likely to be running across frequently, such as the hallway, kitchen or utility room. If you don’t have something that is hard-wearing and easy to clean, it may be time to consider some new flooring or heavy-duty rubber matting that can be laid down, especially in the winter months when mud and dirt are likely to get tracked in. Tiling is a good idea also as it’s extremely durable and also a cool place for dogs to take a nap in the summer. Carpeting is the least practical choice – not only can it get messed up but the fibres can trap dirt and hair, triggering allergies. Taking your dog for regular claw trimmings will help to protect wooden floors from scratching.
Rethink Your Colour Scheme
You may be wise to rethink the colours in your interiors or to find workarounds if you don’t want to redecorate. Light paint colours can soon show up muddy paw marks, while soft furnishings in pale or delicate fabrics may get inadvertently destroyed. One really good tip which my parents have implemented since getting a big dog in terms of paint work is to re-instate a dado rail, if you haven’t got one already, then you only need to touch up the paint below it when it gets tatty rather than the whole wall! If you can’t swap them out, it may be a good idea to invest in some cheap throws with a dark coloured pattern which can hide paw marks and pet hair and be thrown in the washing machine frequently. Leather can be a great choice as it doesn’t absorb odour and most dirty marks can be wiped straight off.
Invest In Your Vaccuum
As a pet owner, your pad will be subject to more tracked-in dirt and dog hair, so you’ll end up vacuuming more than you may have done before. Depending on the breed you get, they may shed more or need to visit the groomers fairly often, so you may need to invest in a more heavy-duty cleaner designed to pick up pet hair. If you keep a dog brush outside, you can make a habit of brushing down your pet before they come into the house, which will help to minimise the mess.
Take Out The Toxins
Keeping your dog safe is massively important, so if you have strong chemicals or cleaning agents or stuff like poisons and insecticides, make sure they are kept in a high, locked cupboard well away from your pooch. You could also switch to green cleaning agents like baking soda and white wine vinegar. Bear in mind that certain plants such as philodendrons, Christmas poinsettias and mistletoe are also toxic to dogs, so do a quick sweep of the garden before welcoming your pet home.