How to Prepare Your Home for a New Dog

A goldendoodle puppy sitting on a bed with white sheets

Bringing home a new dog is an exciting and slightly nerve-wracking experience. Will Fido chew through everything you own? Will you be a good dog parent? Will your new dog get along with the family? 

The good news is that, when you prepare your home for a new dog, you can take out a lot of the guess-work. This is particularly true for first-time dog owners. If you’ve never had a four-legged friend roaming your home, there are probably a few things you haven’t thought about from the perspective of your new pal. 

Check out the following tips for preparing your home for a new dog and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. 

Establish Rules and Responsibilities

A puppy golden retriever sitting on a bed with white sheets and a wooden headboard

Dogs are incredibly intelligent. They have a unique ability to bond with humans and follow our commands. In fact, research has shown that the ability of dogs to connect with humans emotionally is due to their high cognitive ability. Further, this same study posits that, in many cases, dogs are actually superior to other humans in recognizing our emotions. This incredible ability to understand and relate to humans is what makes dogs such a wonderful addition to the family.

However, this same intelligence is the reason why having a set of established rules and routines is critical for success.

What rules should you enforce in your home? Ultimately, whether or not you let your pup on your furniture, sleep in your bed, or bark at the mailman are all choices left up to you. The key is to ensure consistency. Talk to every family member about responsibilities and agreed-upon rules. Determine a routine for walks, mealtimes, and playtime. Nothing is more confusing for a dog than to have the rules change daily or for them to miss out on an important part of their daily routine.  

Puppy-Proof the House

A black puppy pug sitting on a kitchen chair eyeballing a meringue pie

Whether you are bringing an actual puppy home or an adult dog, take time before their arrival to “puppy-proof” the house. Dogs are equipped with an incredible nose and a strong set of chompers. Pair that with their extreme curiosity and trouble can arise. Go through your home and find potential items that your dog might find irresistible. This could be anything from actual food to perceived treats, such as gum left in a low hanging purse, toothpaste on a counter, or an ill-placed candy bowl. 

Puppy-proofing the house is critical to keeping your furry pal safe. In many cases, items that are edible for humans might actually be extremely toxic for dogs. 

Purchase Necessary Pet Supplies

A close up image of a rhino stuffed animal sitting on a couch with a furry puppy in the background

Just like any new family member, your new dog is going to need a few items to feel comfortable in your home. What pet supplies will help make your new dog’s transition as seamless as possible? Check off the following list to prepare for your pup:

  • Dog food and treats — Afterall, a dog’s gotta eat! Purchase food that’s recommended for your dog’s age.
  • Dog toys — Keeping your dog occupied will help prevent unwanted destruction in your home.
  • Dog bed — Make sure your dog has a cozy place for post-walk naps.
  • Dog training tools — It’s important to invest time in training your new pal. Doing so will not only create a well-behaved dog, but will also help create a strong bond between you and your furry friend. Here is a list of some great high-tech training gadgets
  • Leashes — Make sure you have at least a couple of leashes on hand, as walking your dog will be an important part of your daily routine.

Be Adaptable

A cute golden retriever puppy dog isolated on a blurry background

Ultimately, owning a dog is an adventure. There will be late nights with little sleep while your new dog adjusts to moving into your home. There will be chewed-up shoes and peed-on carpets. But there will also be incredible times of joy. There will be wagging tails after a long day of work. There will be Netflix and snuggles. 

The key to navigating the transition is to be adaptable. Practice patience. Remember, a dog is just that — a dog. They process the world through their doggy senses, and, while they are incredible at understanding us, they will never be a perfectly behaved human. Rather, they will be a furry ball of energy, adventure, and loyalty.

Get Ready to Fall in Love

A fluffy cocker spaniel laying on the end of a bed looking up at the camera

Last but not least, get ready to make room in your heart for your new dog. While bonding with a new dog might not happen overnight, it will eventually. Walk after walk, meal after meal, you and your dog will create an unbreakable bond. More than just man’s best friend, dogs become true members of the family. 

So grab your shopping list, get the house ready, and start thinking of names for your new friend.

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