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How To Make Your Home Dog-Friendly 

Girl on bed reads message on phone while holding her dog

Samson Katt from Pexels

Dogs are not just man’s best friend but animals that have many needs and if you’re keeping one as a pet at home, you need to undertake certain measures to pet-proof the area. When you have a dog living with you full-time it is imperative to make certain home improvements to keep him/her from harm or discomfort.

The breed and age of the dog should ideally play a part in your pet-proofing measures as the needs of puppies are different from elderly dogs and certain breeds like German Shepherds need a lot more exercise, entertainment, and interaction than a smaller dog breed like pugs. Accidental dog poisoning cases are very common each year and that arises from irresponsible pet owners who have not made their homes safe for dogs.

A Dog’s Eye View

In order to effectively pet-proof the home, you need to view your surroundings from a dog’s perspective. Exposed wiring, sockets, cords, or other electrocution or suffocation hazards need to be removed and items such as drain cleaners or other toxic substances should never be on the ground or a low shelf where they can be accessed by a pet. Always keep all toxic substances in a separate closet (locked if possible) and keep all wiring and sockets covered.

Dogs are incredibly inquisitive creatures so avoid keeping medicines, pills, or human food easily accessible. If your dog is tall enough to reach a tabletop or kitchen counter, you need to use your items and then place them away in a cabinet that closes properly. Using baby-proofing equipment for cupboards, refrigerators, etc is actually very handy if you have a pet that is always trying to pry something open. Use strong lids for grains, cereals, and food items so their odor does not attract your dog/s.

Trash cans or baskets that are kept on the ground where they can be chewed up by your dogs are also a hazard as the pet can eat something dangerous or rotten and end up sick. Keep trash covered and in a slide-away drawer or outside of the house as far as possible. Most dog owners don’t know that even caffeine and chocolate can cause nervous system and liver damage in dogs.

 Girl cuddles her dog on the couch

Be Wary Of Foliage

Many people keep a lot of plants in their homes for décor purposes. Plants are not harmless for pets such as dogs as some of them can be toxic or poisonous at worst and allergens at best. Always check a toxicity list online before bringing any plants home as even seemingly harmless flowers like lilies can cause liver damage in dogs and cats.

If you have gardening chemicals like pesticides in your home or garden, know that their smell can sometimes entice dogs that may lick or chew them out of curiosity. Always keep such chemicals in a separate locked shed, well out of the reach of house pets. Dogs ingesting antifreeze is actually a very common phenomenon because certain odors that may be repulsive to humans are rather appealing to animals.

Make A Resting Area

A dog needs a resting area or a bed to sleep in at night. If you have a large dog that doesn’t like a small dog house, you can always just designate an area inside the home and make it comfortable with a blanket or two and a couple of pillows. As long as your pet dog knows he/she has a place to return to (especially when they’re scared or tired), they will be happier and that helps their health and longevity of life. You want to make sure your dog is not overly warm or cold or in a damp area such as one affected by a roof leakage. Make a point of scheduling minor home repairs twice a year such as booking a professional roof inspection.

Safe Toys

Most dogs are energetic and need a whole lot of activities to keep them occupied, happy, and healthy. If you have invested in some chew toys, make sure they are of the highest quality you can afford and avoid giving your dog substitutes like old children’s toys as they can have small detachable parts that can become a major choking hazard. Consider looking into pet-friendly fabrics when you’re redoing upholstery or curtains or even buying new rugs.

Leather and suede are preferred varieties especially since your dog is less likely to want to chew them. Furniture covers are also a good idea if your dog regularly drools or falls asleep on home furniture. Even when buying dog outfits, always bear comfort in mind and don’t use itchy or irritating fabrics. A vegan leather dog collar for instance is both fashionable and comfortable.