Dogs require plenty of love and attention, but they also need a good amount of space, too. Since dogs are territorial animals, it is essential to ensure that they have enough space in your home for them to sleep, play and hide in. Whether you’re bringing home a St. Bernard, a Chihuahua, or something in the middle, here are some top tips to help you get your home ready for them:
1. Give Dogs a Room of Their Own
The founder and CEO of Petinsurancequotes.com, Nick Braun, has just got a new puppy, and even though he lives in a small house with his wife and two-year-old son, they managed to turn their basement into a safe space for their puppy.
“We finished our basement and turned that into Gus’ room,” Braun said. “His crate is down there and his toys are down there. It’s a safe, comfortable space that’s all his own.”
2. Consider the Great Outdoors
Braun said that apart from giving his puppy a room of its own, they also erected a new fence in their backyard. “Gus can roam freely outside without us having to watch him 24/7,” Braun said. You might also want to consider adding dog doors to your home, to make it easier for your canine companion to get outside.
According to Amy Trager, a professional organizer, you should consider just how many small items your pet will need when planning to make space for one in your home. Such accessories include a toy basket, a wall hook for a leash, and jars for treats.
4. Cater to Your Dog’s Quirks
The popular dog blogger, Brad Nierenberg, once noticed that his Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Bitsy, enjoys laying on cool tiles when temperatures start to rise. That’s why Nierenberg decided it would be a good idea to lay out a few tiles in the corner next to her bed. “She lays on them for a while before she curls up in her bed,” Nierenberg said.
5. Make Use of Scents
Nierenberg said to help a rescue dog get used to your smell, place one of your old T-shirts in their bed or crate. This will allow them to become more familiar with your scent and feel more comfortable being around you.
6. Raise Your Bed
According to Harrison Vigersky who blogs at BoneandYarn.com, you should make use of bed risers to give your dog space to fit underneath. “New or shy dogs will really like this space if there isn’t a lot of room in your apartment,” Vigersky said.
7. Use Wall Shelves
If you live in a small flat, you’ll know that every inch counts! That’s why Vigersky recommends using wall shelves instead of bookcases or cabinets since you’ll save plenty of valuable floor space. Doing so will allow you to dedicate more space for a dog bed or toys.
8. Create Open Spaces
Vigersky recommends rearranging large or bulky furniture. “If your couch is in the middle of a wall or in the middle of a room, consider moving it to a corner where it will occupy less room and free up a large open area for your dog to run around in,” she said.
9. Put Beds Everywhere
Dog trainer Tonya Wilhelm recommends placing plenty of beds around your home. Wilhelm explained that the reason for doing so is that “if there are pet beds, they are more likely to hang in that spot versus in the middle of the floor.”
10. Make the Crate a Happy Place
If you are crate training your dog, make sure that you never use the crate as a place of punishment. Nierenberg says that many dogs feel safe and relaxed when they are in small confined spaces. Nierenberg recommends “adding blankets and a T-shirt helps with this, but so does associating the space with something positive, like word of praise or a treat.”