You probably put a lot of thought into making your home safe for your kids and perhaps elderly family members. What about your dog? Your pooch benefits from certain features, too. Sandlin Homes offers these tips for a dog-friendly home.
See it from your dog’s perspective.
Get down and look at your home from the same view as your dog sees it. Look for spaces where your dog could crawl under and into. Are there hazards, like cords and plants (that dirt is awfully tempting)? Dogs will nibble on plants or drink the water in the pot, so be sure you (1) eliminate toxic plants from your home; and (2) don’t overwater your plants.
Next, imagine you have a canine’s curiosity and odor-sniffing power. Remember, a dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more powerful than a human’s, depending on the breed. That’s why they’re so good at search and rescue. One study put this statistic into terms of vision. “What you and I can see at a third of a mile, a dog could see more than 3,000 miles away.”
With that in mind, what’s going to tempt them? Plants, cleaning products, fragrant items, food, dirty dishes, garbage, and anything with your scent on it. Don’t blame your pup for doing what comes naturally when you taunt them with irresistible smells!
Pay particular attention to hazardous items. Certain foods are anywhere from potentially dangerous to outright toxic: chocolate, caffeinated drinks, fat trimmings, bones, most nuts, dairy products, onions, garlic, chives, raw potatoes, yeast dough, xylitol (an artificial sweetener), and alcohol. Among fruits, don’t give your dog avocados, any citrus fruits (lemon, lime, grapefruit), peaches, plums, and persimmons. Raw eggs, meat, and fish are also unsafe foods for dogs. For a pet-safe home, remember to also keep your pantry doors closed because ingredients like baking powder and baking soda are extremely dangerous.
Just like you would to protect a child, keep cleaning products and medications out of reach of curious sniffers. A dog that is determined to get at something will nudge open a door that isn’t tightly closed. Protect your pets like children, a habit that comes naturally to most human companions.
Protect against the pitter-patter of paws
Dogs have paws. Paws have nails. The question is, how are your floors going to endure the scratching of paws? You need something tough that will stand up to the daily beating. Tile and wood-look tile are great choices. Both are very durable and easy to care for with just mopping.
Sandlin Homes features tile in all wet spaces, like the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, and mudroom. Wood-look tile is a popular choice in the main living area and even bedrooms because it looks and feels like wood, but resists the scratches that are more evident in hardwood floors. However, if you’re set on having hardwood, choose one that’s harder, like oak, cherry, or mahogany. And when you place area rugs on your floors, secure them with a rubber mat so that kids and dogs don’t trip or slide.
Protect those floors from dirt, mud, and other unwanted outside materials tracked in with your pet. Place a sturdy mat by the entry your pet uses.
Make space for them
Each of the people in your home has a space to retreat to—a bedroom, a study, or playroom. Give your dog a special place to call her own. Dogs get anxious, sad, and lonely, too. Sometimes they also want a place to retreat to. Make sure they have a happy, comforting, calm space. That’s as simple as a bed with a basket of toys nearby. Make it easily accessible and include something that has the master’s scent, like a towel or pillow. If your dog seems to like privacy, put the bed in an extra room or the laundry room—somewhere that’s out of the busy spaces.
Finally, with an aging pet, be sensitive to the need for your dog to get where he needs to go. Stairs can be very difficult. If a dog has been used to spending time upstairs, explore ways to get her up and down. A ramp on the stairs will work, but be sure to provide resting spots, like a landing after every few stairs. Place a small ramp or steps next to the bed he likes to share with you or a family member.
Sandlin Homes builds single-family homes around the DFW metro area, and we design them for everyone in your family to enjoy. When you’re beginning to think about this move, start with browsing through our gallery of home designs, virtual tours of our communities, and move-in ready homes for sale now for a quick closing. Contact us to see where your future could be.