4 questions to ask before bringing a dog into your new home
If you’ve always had dogs or are considering getting your first one, it’s essential that you think about whether your property is compatible. Whether you live in a flat, terrace or a detached home, it’s important to understand if your property is right for that particular breed or if it’s suitable for a dog at all.
The following four questions should help you make the right decision.
1. Is my home big enough?
The size of your home matters, especially if you want a larger breed or want more than one dog. A dog needs its own place to retreat too, away from your family, so you might decide to give them a whole room if you have space or a dog crate in a quiet area of your home. Utility areas are often ideal because they can be easily mopped down and are convenient for the garden, but you should never leave a dog in a conservatory even if you think the space is suitable for them.
Smaller dogs also need more room than you might think as they have lots of energy, so it’s important that you understand their energy levels.
If you are looking at getting a dog from a shelter, they will only let you have a certain breed if they think your home and lifestyle are suitable and will visit your home so that they can make an informed decision.
2. Where can I walk my dog (s)?
Outside space is preferable, whether it’s a garden, patio or communal area. If you live in London, this might not be possible. However, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the number of excellent parks on your doorstep. Walking a dog is fantastic exercise and good for both your physical and mental health. Your dog will require regular walks in all weather conditions so having waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear is a must. On wet days you may decide to use
3. How can I protect the dog and my home?
It’s a good idea to restrict your dog to one room while you’re out of the house or out of sight as damage caused by pets isn’t usually covered by home insurance policies. You can separate areas by putting up stair gates, closing doors or placing your dog in their crate briefly while you are out.
Hazardous products such as bleach and washing powder need to be kept out of their reach, and you should make sure nothing is left on the floor that you wouldn’t want them to eat. Chocolate, grapes, raisons and onions are highly poisonous to dogs, and bones, stones, pieces of plastic and rubber balls are the most common items swallowed.
4. What else do I need to do?
As well as a dog bed and crate, you’ll need plenty of toys to stimulate your puppy or dog and allow them to chew on something that’s not your other belongings or furniture. Some toys and chews will be only suitable for when you’re supervising your dog, but others can be used to entertain your dog while you’re out of the house.
As well as grooming items, your dog must have at least one lead, while a collar with an ID tag should be worn at all times when outside your home. The ID tag legally has to have your address and name on it, but it’s a good idea to include your phone number too. They’ll need to be microchipped if they’re not already and the contact details need to be correct. Regular vet checks are a must and they’ll need their annual boosters, monthly flea treatments and worming too.