How to Dog Proof Your First House
Just because a home is ready for people to settle in, doesn’t mean it’s ready for the furry family members. There’s some preparation that comes along with being a homeowner and a pet parent; that can help with your dog or cat’s safety and your own. In this week’s article we give you a few pointers on how to dog proof your first home keeping both you and ‘Fido’ living happily ever after. Read on to learn more about this week’s topic.
Pet Safety for Homeowners
Placing objects out of the reach of your dog is vital to your pet’s safety. Puppies and young adult dogs are curious but don’t always have a filter for knowing what’s off limits to them. Therefore, we must watch after them by being proactive in what we leave at their access. Moving day can lead to temporary chaos, which is normal. Keep things like your remote controls, dangerous wiring and other objects out of the pup’s reach. In a recent post online, a dog owner confessed leaving his remote control on the coffee table while unpacking. When he turned around, his precious sheep dog not only ate the remote, but the batteries too. As you can imagine, this was a dangerous moment, but the dog is still living even after such a close call.
Bath time for Your Dog
Consider building a dog washing station at your new home. Whether indoors or out, keeping pet fur from draining will not only prevent extra cleaning but will keep your plumbing intact.
Close the Toilet Lid
If you’re not a fan of your larger dogs drinking from the toilet, get into the habit of closing the lid. While toilet water is essentially harmless to our pets, it’s important to teach them not to drink from this source as there is always a chance of cleaning products or bacteria. While you may assume the toilet water is fresh, your puppies are safer without this drinking habit.
Check the Garden for Culprits
Checking the garden of your new home is important when you live in a place such as Northern Colorado. Besides looking for snakes, it’s important to look for other culprits, potentially causing your four-legged friend some damage. Goatheads, mushrooms and tulip bulbs can be toxic or painful. Also, things like Foxtails can become stuck in the ‘Doglets’ paws and cause abscess which can be costly to remove or treat. One last thing, many of our Colorado pets love Canadian Geese droppings. Gross but true. Be sure to clean up if these birds have access to your yard. While not all dogs are susceptible, why take the chance?
Dog Proof Your Trash
Places like The Home Depot, Lowes and TJMaxx offer solutions to proofing your trash. Buy something with a lid your dog can’t knock over. Also, storing your trash in a closet or in the garage might be more practical than preventing you picking up a mess. Not to mention, the dog won’t have access to dangerous items such as chicken bones and sharp lid cans.
Don’t Leave Medications Around
While this rule may seem obvious, there’s plenty of people who become forgetful when your fur babies dominate your living room. Remind your guests, like Granny, to put her meds somewhere out of the dog’s reach and not in her purse. Regardless of medication, most pharmaceuticals can cause some real trouble when your animals consume them.
Keep Alcohol and Other Substances Away
Just like medications, keep alcohol away from your animals. Dogs seem to be a lot like people with cravings for beer. Don’t let them have it even if it comes from your favorite microbrew. If you’re so apt to crack open a can with your best friend, select one made specifically for ‘Doglets’ such as Bowser Beer made from barley and pork without the alcohol. Your buddy may just be more interesting than even the best bartender after a few drinks, but he or she lives with you and who wants to deal with a hungover dog?
Choose All-Natural Cleaning Products
Cleaning products are a staple in most households. However, certain cleaners may contain harmful substances to your pet. For instance, washing the kitchen floors with ‘Spic n Span’ might give your floor a glow, but it could be nuclear for the dog. Select all-natural cleaning products that won’t cause irritation for the little hound.
Check the Fence for Holes and Escape Routes
Many homeowners wish list a fenced-in yard when house hunting. In most cases, they opt-in for privacy, keeping pets and kids in eyesight without busting out of Utopia. If you’re just moving or thinking about buying a home, be sure to check the fencing for holes and other escape routes. Some dogs can climb welded wire or metal fencing, where your dog can flee. In most of today’s modern NOCO homes, you’ll find a variety of wood fencing and other materials where Rover can’t jump.
Other Critters in Colorado
Another reason to check your fence for pet-safety is for the outside critters and unwanted guests. Loveland, Colorado and surrounding areas are home for a variety of talons and wildlife. If you have a pet, you’ll want to ensure these animals can’t get inside of the yard. Bear, mountain lion and fox are beautiful when left to the wild, but you wouldn’t want Fluffy to engaging with one. If you have a smaller breed, always keep them on a leash and watch closely when they’re outdoors. Birds are also dangerous if you have little ones like Yorkies, Chihuahuas and teacup pups. These rules apply more to the less populated areas of Northern Colorado.
Lawn Care Showstoppers
If you’re someone diligent in maintaining your lawn, be sure to consider your dog’s wellness. Use weed killer that is dog friendly. Avoid planting flowers like daffodils and Ivy including toxic effects. Remember to keep animals indoors when mowing the grass so there’s zero chance of injuries. Also, if you’re into gardening, plant tomatoes in a container rather than in a garden or the side of the house. These juicy plants are also unsafe for ‘Ole’ Yeller. “There’s less chance of dangerous results when you’re mindful.
Green Space Rules and Regulations for Pet Owners
Many tract homes and subdivisions offer fields and knolls for your playful pups to roam. However, check with your HOA as there may be additional rules and regulations other than the obvious. Cleaning up after your animal and keeping them on a leash are vital for everyone’s enjoyment but shared areas of the neighborhood require everyone follow the rules and regulations.
Hardscaping to Rid of Yellow Spots
An acceptable alternative to yellow spotted grass is hardscaping. Using stone mulch, drought-resistant plants and bricks can add value to your home but is also a deterrent from lawn-care problems. Sometimes, you can repair the lawn by hosing down spots where your pets love to use, however this can be a tedious process. Besides, it could limit the results. Chemicals on the market claiming to rid your yard of these problems are costly and sometimes a waste of your money. Hardscaping is a viable solution, providing both space for the dog’s business and keeping your living spaces beautiful.
Locking Up and When You’re Away
Just like you and the rest of the family, moving to a new home can seem a bit intimidating. Same goes for your hound. They will need to become accustom to new surroundings just like their humans. Check all your locks before leaving to keep your dog restricted in case he or she walks back to the old home or apartment. Dog’s are smart and can sometimes tackle opening a door by themselves. They may go through separation anxiety where they can ruin your property. Once everyone settles into their newest dwelling, the dog will be easier to leave when you’re away. But until then, keep everything secure and lock up when leaving.
Entertaining Your Fur Babies
Now you’ve finally got freedom as a homeowner, you’ll be looking for ways to entertain your family. Your animals can be a lot of fun when you have a backyard. From swimming pools to obstacle courses or gyms, you’ll find Coloradoans cherish their animals and want them to enjoy their new home too. A little creativity goes a long way but keeping the dog happy will also prevent them from digging holes amongst other behaviors.
Ensuring They’re Comfortable
You can do a multitude of things to ensure your animals are comfortable, like crating. (Almost necessary for moving day) Many dogs enjoy the comfort of a crate as shelter. Other solutions for your pet is offering a bed within the master bedroom. You’ll also want to throw rugs onto wood and tile floors for additional happiness. Be mindful, the little mutts will have to become used to their unfamiliar environment just like you. The more you do for them, the easier it will be to settle.
Keep Pets Away When Utility People are Present
When utility people and strangers come for a visit, be sure to lock up or separate your pets. Not all people are dog friendly and/or may scare or become allergic. Most realtors will suggest a quiet place for the animals while showing a property to prevent anyone from feeling uncomfortable.
With a little extra work providing necessary safety and comfort, your pooch should settle into his/her new place just fine. One thing is certain, Coloradoans love their dogs and find genuine happiness in sharing a home together. We’re certain you will too.