Bringing home a new furry family member is an exciting and heartwarming time. Nothing is quite as joyful as walking into the house to be welcomed by a dog — tail wagging, eyes full of love and excitement. However, sometimes that joy is overshadowed by a bit of destruction from separation anxiety — a shoe chewed here or pee puddle there. It can be a frustrating problem, but it’s not an unsolvable one.
Is your home ready for a dog? Getting your home pet-ready doesn’t have to take a lot of time — or a lot of money. Here are some ways you can make your home a dog-friendly place with some budget-friendly options.
Give Your Dog a Safe Space
Dogs can get stressed and anxious for a variety of reasons — and at any age. If you train your dog to go to a safe space when he is feeling anxious, you’ll help minimize the chaos a stressed dog can create. Remember, your dog isn’t chewing, tearing, or having indoor accidents intentionally. He isn’t trying to get back at you for leaving, he’s trying to deal with the anxiety of having you gone. Your best option is to direct his attention somewhere else.
You can give your dog a safe space by:
Crate-training your dog. Crates can help as both a housetraining aid and as a way to give your dog his own room. Crate-training takes time, patience and process, so be sure you do enough research to safely and compassionately crate train your pet.
Section off the house. Use baby gates (take advantage of discounts and coupons at stores like Walmart to cut down on the cost) to give your dog access to certain parts of your home when you are away. This can help keep your dog in areas where he can cause the least amount of harm — to himself and your house.
Make it cozy. Give your dog space to feel cozy and secure. Consider putting a dog bed in the bathroom with an old T-shirt. This will give him a secure space to wind down, along with your scent to feel at ease.
Giving your dog a space where he feels comfortable can help curb destructive behaviors. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create that secure feeling. Look to areas where your dog naturally goes when upset and place items that already bring him comfort there.
Give Your Dog Access
Some dog breeds just have endless amounts of energy no matter how old they get. That’s why providing them with outlets for their energy can be a great way to prepare your home for a four-legged family member. You can take the time to install:
A dog door. If you have a securely fenced-in backyard, a dog door is a great way to give your pooch access for running, playing and going to the bathroom.
An obstacle course: Several dog breeds enjoy the ups, downs, overs, and arounds of obstacle courses. Discounts from stores like PetSmart can help ease the cost.
A dog house. In certain climates, you can leave your dog outside for most of the day. If that’s your situation, be sure to build him shelter to keep him cool or warm.
While at first glance these suggestions may seem like luxuries, you can build your dog a door, house or an obstacle course without breaking the bank. Save money by going beyond coupons to look for cashback rewards at home improvement stores like Lowe's. Savvy shoppers can even earn money back that can be saved or invested in your next home maintenance project.
Owning a dog not only brings you the joy of a loving companion, but it also affords you opportunities to improve your physical and mental well-being. Don’t let the stress of an unready home cloud the pleasure of owning a pet. Use these tips to get your home — and your family — ready for the love and responsibility of having a dog.
**Jessica Brody is a guest author from http://www.ourbestfriends.pet/