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A Guide to Dog-Proofing Your Home

Last modified: 2019/01/17 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

The CNW reports that 71% of Canadian pet-owners expressed that they felt happier overall after they adopted dogs. The study identified Calgary, Winnipeg, and Edmonton as the areas with the highest dog to human ratios in the country.

Of course, the happiness that dogs bring isn’t surprising. Their energetic demeanour and natural curiosity, along with irresistibly cute fur and ears, can make it very hard not to love them. However, those very same characteristics can lead them into harmful situations, especially when left unsupervised. This makes it extremely important to survey your home for potential dangers before adopting a puppy or grown pooch.

This article explores several steps you can take in order to dog-proof your home. Not only will they keep man’s best friend safe and away from harm, these simple steps can also help you prevent accidents that can damage your property.

Smiling dog

Photo: Pexels

A grand entrance

If you’re comfortable with giving your dog free rein to explore your lot, then a doggie door might be right for your home. It will also provide more flexibility to stay out later in cases of emergency and can be useful for homeowners with limited mobility. Make sure to measure your pet or research your puppy’s approximate full-grown size to be able to get the correct dimensions of your doggie door.

On the other hand, doggie doors are not advisable if you live in a high-traffic neighbourhood or if your yard isn’t fenced-in yet. Consider installing screens in windows and doors to keep your dogs safe from any outside dangers while letting fresh air into your home. For extra safety, you can affix child-safety latches for these as well.

But with or without a doggie door, another great way to prepare is to modify an area near the entryway for easy access to pet and cleaning supplies. The Reader’s Digest recommends making or installing wall hooks to hold dog leashes and keep them tangle-free. Having a cabinet or shelves near the door is also good for keeping spare collars, treats, toys, and outdoor dog apparel within easy access. For rainy or snowy days, store old towels and have a bucket of warm water ready every time he or she goes out. This is to make it easier for you to clean your dog’s paws before they leave wet prints throughout the rest of your home after they get back.

Pet gates

One home project to consider when dog-proofing your home is to install pet gates. While you are still house-training your pet, it might be a good idea to section off parts of your home to keep him or her in sight. If you prefer that they stay downstairs or upstairs only, a stair gate is recommended.

For additional safety, Go Fetch recommends setting up barriers or baby gates to block access to wood stoves, space heaters, and fireplaces. A more proactive way to teach your pet household boundaries is to create a special place for him or her with a dog bed in a safe and accessible area of your home.

Another kind of barrier you need to prepare is your yard or garden fence. These need to be tall enough to prevent your pooch from jumping over them. But at the same time, they should also be installed deep enough underground so he or she won’t dig a way out. Additionally, consider moving outdoor tables and chairs away from the fence.

The right flooring

Traditional Home Magazine specified that hard surfaces like laminate flooring, stone or ceramic tiles, or painted concrete are best for homes with dogs. They are easier to clean and can be kept stain-free. They also have the added benefit of being cooler in warm weather, which is important for dogs with thick fur.

If you have hardwood flooring, be ready to clean up puddles right away to prevent the planks from staining or deformation. Harder kinds of wood like oak or mahogany will stand their ground more steadily around dogs. Place rugs or other floor coverings on high traffic areas.

Similarly, wall-to-wall carpeting and pets don’t always mix well. Carpeting offers lots of good options for napping areas and provides non-slip surfaces, especially for older dogs with joint problems. However, carpets can be tougher to clean. If you really prefer this option, try matching the colour of your carpet to your pet’s fur and choose a stain-resistant low-pile type of carpet.

Dog standing in window

Photo: Pexels

Fur-friendly furniture

Man’s best friend can be your furniture’s greatest enemy. The key, however, is to choose upholstery fabrics that are easier to clean and durable enough to withstand your dog’s nails. For couches, choose denim, canvas, or sturdy synthetic fabric to resist stains, moisture, odours and germs that are inevitable when living with pets. In addition, microfiber or microsuede fabrics look great and are easy to clean. Like carpets, try to match the colour of your dog’s fur or use fun patterns in order to camouflage fallen pet hair.

If you can’t resist using silk and other delicate fabrics, reserve those for curtains and other areas of the home that your dog can’t reach.

Protect the walls

The last important aspect of your home to dog-proof is your walls. Some dogs tend to rub up on walls as they pass, or sprinkle drool all over whenever they shake their heads. Keep them clean by coating them with semi-gloss, satin, or egg-shell paint for protection.

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