15 Jun 2018 How to Prepare Your Home for a New Dog: A Pawfectly Perfect Welcoming
It’s National Pet Adoption Month and today we wanted to share a few tips with how to prepare your home for a new dog. When we adopted Shredder in December of last year, we hadn’t really put much thought into prepping our house (or for that matter – our feline residents) for his arrival. We had borrowed a crate and bought some food bowls, but that was about it. We were so concerned about finding a dog, that we let his arrival home become an afterthought.
To make sure that your new dog is welcomed with open arms when he arrives at home, and more importantly, feels safe in his new environment, take a look at these tips for how to prepare your home.
Have a Family Meeting
This seems to be a common trend if you read our “Before You Adopt a Puppy: What You Need to Know” article. Having a family meeting will make sure everyone is prepared when your new pup arrives home. Be sure to discuss expectations and assign responsibilities for care, and answer any lingering questions your children may have. For example, “Can Shredder sleep in my room?”
Your new dog will need the basics – such as a crate, pet bed, food bowls, food, collar and leash. But you’ll also want to get size-appropriate toys, treats, and more depending on what kind of training your dog may need. Be sure to ask the rescue center what type of food your dog is already eating so you can be sure to stay consistent. (You can always change the food later, once your dog has transitioned and gotten comfortable at home). Our recommendation is to not go crazy at first. Buy the basics and then learn your new dog’s personality before buying more.
One thing to note with supplies: pets can be very sensitive to other animal smells. So before you borrow anything, be sure to give the items a thorough cleaning and check them over to make sure they are safe for use.
Schedule Your First Vet Appointment
Your pup will likely have already been checked out and given a clean bill of health before you can take him home, but it’s a good idea to schedule him for a visit with your vet too. Be sure to find one that you feel comfortable with, is close to home, and has resources for after-hours care. Be sure you ask your rescue center for a copy of all your new dog’s medical records so you know when he was neutered, if his shots are up to date, if he’s microchipped, and when the last time he’s had any flea, tick or heartworm treatments. (Keep in mind, when you adopt a dog, you likely won’t know their exact age – so its good to get as much detailed information as possible from your rescue center).
Get Down On All Fours
Take a tour of your home from your dog’s perspective by getting down on your hands and knees! Be sure to move any chemicals out of reach, and pay attention to any insect traps you may have laying around. If you have children, pick up any small toys and move them to an area the dog won’t have access. Tape up any loose electrical cords, and move any valuables off of low shelves or tables to prevent the wigglebutt from knocking something over.
Give Special Attention to Existing Pets
If you have other animals at home already, be sure to give them some extra attention. Bringing home a new pet is like bringing home a baby for them. They will need to get used to new smells and sounds, and possibly a new way of life as a result. If you can get a blanket with your new dog’s smell on it, that might be a great way to start the process. You may also want to get a large dog pen to set up in one room of the house to have an easier transition for your other pets. Your new dog may need that safe space away from his feline brothers (we’re speaking from experience here).
Purchase Pet Insurance
Protect your new dog the same way you do the rest of your family. Purchasing Massachusetts pet insurance can help your vet and medical bills be more manageable and can enable you to pay for any unexpected emergency treatments if needed. Pet Insurance is very affordable and comes in a variety of options and coverage levels to choose from. Contact Berry Insurance if you need help deciding what the best protection for your new dog should be.
We hope these tips help you and your family better prepare your home for a new dog! Be sure to check out our other blogs on what you need to know before you adopt a puppy. For more information on how your new dog may affect your Massachusetts Homeowners Insurance policy coverage, give us a call at 508.528.5200.