Becoming a dog owner for the first time can be an exciting and fun time. However, it’s equally a major responsibility. Once you have decided to embark on this life-changing journey, you must also be ready to take steps that will keep your pet happy, comfortable, and healthy. Granted, a generous treat of love and good nutrition is important and necessary for your dog’s daily requirements so is coexisting in harmony.
It’s important to think ahead, factoring in how your new man’s best friend will impact your life and home, and adjust accordingly. Accommodating a new member of the furry family can be exciting, but preparing for them can also be daunting and sometimes disruptive. Consider these essentials for first time dog owners, focusing on home renovations that will help make life with your new friend easier.
1. Home Inspection
To get a rough idea of what adjustments you’ll need to make in your renovation plans, have your home inspected by professionals. Insisting on professionals is crucial so you can trust their foresight on necessary changes and also be able to identify potential hazards.
They’ll inspect your home for health risks; not only for your dog but for you as well. Potential risks include mold, lead-based materials, and asbestos, which can be dangerous when inhaled. In addition, a home inspection is essential for first-time dog owners as it allows you to draft a better layout plan for the renovation, and gives you a feel of what things will look like. A home inspection can reveal the need for services such as land clearing.
2. Dog Friendly Flooring
You need to consider flooring options that are optimal for both the dog and the floor surface itself. Soft flooring materials will easily be damaged by your pet’s claws and teeth. You can choose from either tile, concrete, or hardwood, which are robust and can accommodate the playfulness and activities of your dog’s day-to-day life. Some people opt for garage floor epoxy coating, which is pet friendly.
While floors bring out the aesthetics of a home, you want one you can not only easily keep clean, but also one that lasts long, so you can enjoy significant cost savings. Choosing the floors that cater to all your needs is particularly essential for first-time dog owners.
3. Secure Your Perimeter
first time dog owners need to remember they’re responsible for keeping their dogs safe. One of the ways of achieving this is to always accompany your dog outside your premises, or else keep your dog secure within your home. Dogs are particularly notorious for digging. They can dig beneath your fence or gate and wander off, which can be a hazard for them as well as a threat to other people if the dog is vicious.
To protect yourself from what all that could morph into, hire the services of a fence business to seal gaps and implement measures to keep your dogs inside, no matter how much they try to dig. Thanks to recent advancements in technology, land perimeters can now be secured with a buried sensor fence, which is an invisible underground perimeter fence.
SensoGuard is one of the fence companies specializing in, as they are called, InvisiFence. Their system operates buried sensors, which are intrusion detection early warning systems with extraordinarily high recognition levels of diverse threats above or below ground. They can detect footsteps, vehicles, digging, and more, making it impossible to dig under or jump over.
Considering how busy life can get, it’s easy to forget to lock your gates. You can also benefit greatly from installing an automatic gate system. This will ensure your gate is locked in case you drive off without locking it, as you must have at some point.
4. Doggy Litter Box Area
Having a dog indoors requires some hygiene logistics, which are essential for first-time dog owners. With the emergence of professional ‘dog whisperers,’ dogs can be trained to do amusing things, including how to use the family’s toilet and flush after themselves. But, the majority of dog owners don’t regard that type of extensive training as necessary and can get by with basic training, which involves teaching your dog to have a designated area to go to for nature calls.
So you don’t end up with unpleasant smells and messes, train your dog or have it trained to access the litter box. This is especially important for puppies. Older dogs can be taught to ask to be let outside or go through the dog shoot.
If you live in an apartment, somewhere like the corner of a back balcony can be segregated and turned into a ‘messy dog station area’. Just ensure it’s properly stocked with super absorbent wipes, clean-up bags, dry shampoo, or more to keep it as clean as possible. Also, remember to choose a strategic spot. A well-ventilated place is most convenient. In addition, check if roof repairs or adjustments are needed to keep the area dry and hygienic.
5. Dog Safe Space
Perhaps you’re accustomed to living with your dog as just another member of your family. However, not every situation allows for your furry friend to be out and about mingling with people. You could be hosting events or have guests over who may be allergic or phobic to dogs.
You may also have construction and other home renovations underway and therefore have to keep your dog out of harm’s way. It is essential for a first-time dog owner to factor in these eventualities, and create a restricted space where the dog can stay comfortably and freely, away from people or loud noises that may be startling.
You can create this type of space in an unoccupied room or inside your garage. Equip the space with a comfortable mat or carpet, food and water bowls, the dog’s toys, and more. Also, ensure the space is well ventilated, and check if air conditioner repairs are needed. If the garage works for you, an automated or quick response garage door install is a good idea to keep your dog safely inside.
6. Build a Comfortable Dog Kennel
A dog kennel is practical and can be useful for many reasons. It can be tailor-made to suit the size of your dog or your space and taste. For an outdoor kennel, it’s important to make it as comfortable as possible for your furry friend by equipping it with adequate insulation from the elements, depending on your environment. An outdoor kennel is great for a time-out space for your dog without making it feel like a punishment.
Teach the dog that when they’re inside the kennel, it means they need to be calm and relaxed and can only get out on command. It can also make a nice holding place if guests don’t want to interact with your canine. Also, make sure it’s easy to clean by using the right materials and fitting it with washable blankets.
Consider working with a reputable composite deck builder for an easy-to-clean surface for your kennel. First time dog owners need to ensure that the kennel is well-built and placed in a strategic position so the dog doesn’t associate it with feelings of being isolated or getting banished.
7. Consult a Veterinarian
Vets are always armed with excellent tips for your pet’s health. A qualified veterinarian you can access at a local pet hospital can be an invaluable resource and provide unparalleled expertise that’s essential for first time dog owners. They can give you information about common dog diseases or infections in the area, and common home accidents, such as puppies or dogs swallowing objects. They’ll also inform you about other hazards such as pricks and cuts, poisoning, and more. Because they know the most common cases in the area, their help and tips on how to renovate your home to reduce such risks are invaluable.
Reliable data about normal dog behavior, according to the specific breed of dog you have, is also quite important. This makes it possible to tell when something is off, allowing you to schedule a veterinarian check up promptly whenever necessary.
8. Dog’s Mudroom
If you have a vast outdoor area or you live on a farm, a mudroom is a practical addition. It prevents mud and dirt from making their way into your house. For a healthy, active, and playful dog that likes to be in your huge outdoors, they may come home looking nothing like you know them, covered in all sorts of grime.
Creating a small mudroom that’s close to the house for cleaning dirty paws after escapades, or a full body wash will keep your beautiful floors clean. You could also have a grooming table in your grooming station where you can comb, spray, and shave your dog. The room can also be useful for storing things like your leash, towels, and dog shampoos. Install a plumbing system and a shower in the mudroom to make it more convenient and practical.
9. Install Pet Doors
Pet doors are designed to help your dog go in and out without you having to get up every time to open the door. They can be installed in the exterior doors or even into interior doors that lead from one room to another. Pet doors have their pros and cons. First time dog owners need to do their homework and decide if it’s the right fit for them.
Before installing a pet door, consider the door’s energy efficiency as well to potentially reduce your cooling and heating costs. Some flap doors let a lot of air into your house, increasing energy costs. For improved air sealing, dual-flap pet doors are most suitable, as do locking solid panel doors. The latter allows you to control when you want your dog outside.
One of the most important factors to consider is the size of the pet door, which is determined by the size of the dog. Large pet doors can be a security risk if installed in the exterior door, and small children can crawl out the same way. It can also be an inconvenience since your dog can get into the house all muddy without giving you a chance to stop it.
Thanks to technological advancements, there are fancy pet-safe electronic smart doors, which only open when a pet wearing a microchipped collar approaches the door. So, depending on what you can work with and what you can afford, there are plenty of options out there.
10. Extra Treats
Dogs are referred to as man’s best friend because they’re sensitive, emotional, and often get bored. Consider big and low windows while doing your renovations. Dogs like peeping through the window to pass time. Keeping in mind that your dog will be with you for a long time and will get old and become prone to joint issues, just like humans, consider remodeling your staircases, making them lower to ease the climb. First time dog owners need to understand that dogs, like humans, also like their own space. Seeing that they sleep for longer hours, designing a place where they can enjoy their naps with minimal distractions and noise will certainly be appreciated.
Lastly, adopting a dog will require adjustments not only to your family, routine, and spending but also to your home’s structure. In most cases, homes aren’t purposefully fashioned to accommodate non-human, four-legged occupants. As much as that may be, renovation options are available to alter the status quo.
If you’re determined to take this noble step, get experts to make your home dog friendly in a creative manner that doesn’t disrupt everyone else’s routine. Besides creating a harmonious living environment for you and your pet, it also brings out a glamorous look to your house. In addition to costs, it’s essential for first time dog owners to factor in these important points and do some thorough homework so they can make an informed decision about renovations that will blend into their lifestyle.