Preparing Your Home and Family for Your New Dog
In the best of circumstances, every member of your family is as thrilled about the prospect of a new pet joining the household as you are. However, in order to make this great event as thrilling as it can be, it does require some advance preparation.
Preparing your home for your pet’s grand entrance can be an adventure in itself. You want to be sure that your home is safe and comfortable for your new dog, as well as reducing the risk of damage to your home from your new canine family member. Neither of these aspects of pet ownership are difficult, but they do take some time, effort, and sensibility.
A good way to begin preparing your home is similar to readying it for a small child. Starting on the floor, and working upward, check for anything which could potentially harm your pet, or which he could damage. If you have numerous appliance cords or electrical wires that he could chew, they should be moved to where he cannot reach them or made inaccessible. If you have objects which could be easily broken or shattered, these too should be moved to where your dog cannot reach them. These precautions need to apply to every room in your home where your dog will be spending his time.
Children need to be cautioned to not leave their toys and other personal items where the dog can get a hold of them. This is to ensure that their property will not be destroyed, as well as your new pet not being harmed by chewing up or swallowing objects. Puppies and adult dogs alike can choke on foreign objects, and many have the tendency to chew on anything that is available.
When you are preparing your home for the dog you are adopting, it is a good idea to focus on a special area just for him. A new pet will feel at home much quicker if he knows where everything of his own is located. His food and water dishes, toys, and paper if he is to be paper trained, are best placed in one specific location and left there. He will soon learn that these items belong to him, and where he can always find them. This basic sense of routine will give your new dog comfort and stability, even during his first days in your home.
Preparing your family for the dog you are adopting can also be exciting. When every member of your family is included, your new dog will be well-received as a new member of the family.
It is a good idea to give children plenty of advance preparation for the dog. While information about what to expect, what the dog will be like, and other tidbits of interest will increase your children’s anticipation, they also need to be filled in on the proper care and treatment of the dog before he moves into your home. Small children, especially, must be instructed on such factors as not being overly boisterous around the new dog, to not pull his tail, and to be gentle with him. This is for the safety of the children as well as for the dog.
If your children are old enough, giving them a small amount of responsibility for the dog’s everyday care can also be beneficial. They will know they are contributing something worthwhile to their pet’s upkeep. Something as basic as filling the dog’s food bowl, even with your supervision, increases children’s enjoyment of owning a pet.
Determining in advance, and discussing with the whole family, who will be responsible for the majority of the dog’s daily care and maintenance can prevent forgetfulness and arguments later on. Perhaps each member of the family can be assigned a task, or perhaps you choose to deal with most of it yourself. Whichever arrangement is best for your family, making the decisions ahead of time is preferable.
When should you begin preparing your home and family for the new dog? The sooner the better is a good way to look at it! This way, you will not risk being caught off guard from forgetting something important about readying your home, nor the problems which could occur from having a new pet move in before your family is ready for him.
In contrast, the better prepared you are for the new arrival, the more exciting the entire experience will be for everyone in your family. They will be ready to greet him, help him to feel at home, and enjoy every minute of dog ownership.