Making a Home Dog-Friendly

Real Estate

Even the most happy-go-lucky dogs and cats have some preferences about the spaces they occupy. If you want to keep your pet as happy and comfortable as possible, here are some things to take into consideration.

Baby proofing for your pet
Most people know that baby proofing your home before bringing a baby home is a good idea, but did you know that this also applies to dogs?  Just like kids, dogs (especially puppies) can get into places they do not belong.  Consider using child locks on all cabinets and cupboards in the kitchen, bathrooms, garage and utility room that contain things like cleaning products, pesticides, fertilizer and other dangerous items like mousetraps. Also, keep toilet lids down so that dogs cannot drink, especially if you use automatic bowl cleaners.

Dogs don’t like hardwood
Carpet is more comfortable for your dog when it comes to laying down and sleeping, but it’s also preferable when your dog is on its feet. Dogs typically don’t like hardwood floors because they feel less traction under their paws. They may even try to dig in with their claws to improve traction, possibly damaging your floors which is why regularly trimming your dogs' nails is a good idea. As a compromise, you can place soft, thick rugs on the floor to help your pets relax.  However, if you prefer wall to wall carpet, consider installing carpeting with a neutral color and a  minimum performance rating of 3.5 which will help hide pet hair and dirt.  Be prepared to vacuum often and have your carpets deep cleaned at least twice a year.

Fireplaces can be scary
You’ve surely seen a dog get spooked by the sound of 4th of July fireworks. A fireplace isn’t nearly as loud, but can still have a similar effect. Plus, those pops and crackles from the flames are a far more regular occurrence. A quieter gas fireplace is more dog friendly. You can also give your dog a chew toy or bone as a distraction before lighting a fire.

Ignorance is bliss when it comes to fences
A chain-link fence can cause stress for your dog, because it can still see other animals and strangers, but is confined to the yard. If you’re considering a new fence, your dog will appreciate a solid one made of wood or vinyl panels. With fewer lines of sight to the outside, your dog will be less anxious.

Plants can be dangerous for dogs
Be sure that your houseplants are pet-safe. Common, but toxic, plants include begonia, amaryllis, bird of paradise, poinsettia, calla lily, mums, and aloe vera to name a few.  Click to check the ASPCA's database of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants

Trash cans are not created equal 
Indoors or outdoors, if your dog can get into the trash they not only risk making a mess but a host of potential health problems.  Chicken and rib bones can be chewed into sharp pieces that become serious choking hazards, yarn, thread, and sharp objects like glass can also cause problems.  It is important to remember that many fruit seeds contain natural contaminants that can result in potentially deadly cyanide poisoning in dogs: Other problem foods are grapes and raisins which can cause kidney failure, caffeine in coffee grinds and chocolate are also toxic, sugar-free foods and gums containing Xylitol can cause liver failure, and nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures, and central nervous system damage.  Last but not least, soaps, human medications, and cosmetics can cause vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes even death so be sure to keep your dog out of all your trash cans.  If you think your dog has eaten any of these items call your veterinarian right away. For more information click here ASPCA Animal Poison Control