We lost our English Bulldog in November, 2016, to lung cancer. She was only 8 and her passing was difficult. As we recovered from her loss, we cleaned out all her toys and belongings. When I knew that Murphy would be joining us, I had work to do. Since we didn’t know how our new dog would behave, several steps were necessary and if you are planning to add a new dog or puppy to your family, perhaps these tips will help dog prep your home.
Dog Proof Your Home
Decide which rooms your dog will be allowed to access. Then go through each room looking for potential dangers. Get down on your knees if possible, so you can see the room at the level your new pet will see.
Look for exposed electrical cords. I know from experience that dogs and cats enjoy chewing on computer cables and cell phone cords. Find a way to hide them all from view and from access.
Block the dog’s access to rooms where he won’t be welcome. You can find baby safety gates here. I ordered 2 gates to block off our guest room to keep it clean and ready for company and the laundry room, because the cats’ litter box resides there. If your new pet is a puppy, you may want a gate to prevent him from climbing any stairs.
Rid Your Home of Toxic Materials
If you don’t already use environmentally safe cleaning products, consider a change now. Your new dog will walk on the floors you just cleaned and then probably lick its paws. Be safe and choose cleaning products that won’t harm your pets.
Stock Up on Dog Supplies
If your new pet is a puppy, purchase a crate to use from day 1. If the dog is an adult, ask his owner or someone from the shelter where you get him if he is crate-trained. Some adult dogs won’t easily adjust to a crate and some will never do so. There are puppies that suffer from claustrophobia, and you won’t be able to crate train them but try. You life will be much easier if he learns to love his crate. Choose a crate that allows an adult dog to stand and turn around. For puppies, think ahead to the size he will be when grown and buy accordingly.
Every dog needs his own bed. I don’t recommend spending a lot on bedding because puppies and even some adult dogs will chew up and destroy the bedding. We lined Murphy’s crate with 2 thick folded blankets and a baby pillow for extra softness because that was all I could find on short notice. Murphy is a chewer and once he grows out of his current chewing stage, I’ll probably find a more suitable dog bed for him.
You will want to buy 2 bowls for your dog – for food and water – and perhaps a washable mat to sit them on. Stainless steel or pottery bowls are best. Dogs often suffer a skin breakout, rather like acne, if they eat from plastic containers on a regular basis.
Dogs need appropriate collars and leashes. Talk to an experienced sales person at a pet store to help you make the best choices. Murphy needs some training because he has a bad habit of jumping on people and other dogs. He arrived with the leashes needed but I did purchase a special nylon, padded collar for training. Here is a video that shows you how to choose a collar for your dog.
Your new fur-baby needs toys to play with. Choose wisely. Select a Nylabone Original in the correct size for your dog. Those are safer than the other bone types of chew toys on the market. I found the best prices here.
Kong® makes a toy that can be stuffed with treats and they come in all sizes. Unless your new dog is a small animal that doesn’t destroy toys, watch carefully when he plays with less sturdy toys. He could break off and swallow small pieces that could get lodged in his throat or intestines.
The most important purchase you make for your new dog is food. Please read the information on our site before you shop to be sure your dog receives healthy pet food.
Preparing for your new dog will get your pet started off on the right “paw” and on the way to becoming a valued member of your family.