The late summer and early fall is the perfect time to bring home a new dog. You and your dog will be able to enjoy some great weather that’s perfect for hiking, trips to the beach, or just spending some time outdoors getting to know each other and building a bond.
Chances are any dog is going to love road trips, which only increases the adventures you can enjoy together. With your dog spending lots of time in your car, though, you’ll need to prepare your car so that it’s safe and comfortable for your pup. At times you may need to leave him at home, so in addition to preparing your car, some home modifications can help to keep your dog safe this summer no matter where he is.
Picture How Your Home Will Work
Before it’s time to bring home your new dog, start by visualizing how your home will work for your pet. Plan out space for a crate, food dishes, bed, and any other items. This is the time to identify any spaces that you may want to restrict your dog from, such as a bathroom containing a cat litter box or a child’s room containing toys and other items that a dog would be tempted to chew on. Think about the items you’ll need to make your home work for your pet, such as installing pet gates, and try to visualize how your daily routine will work within the space.
If you live in an apartment, you may need to get extra creative in the ways that you keep a dog safe. Apartments pose unique safety issues for dogs, such as balconies that a dog could potentially jump over or fall through, and the lack of a yard to exercise in. Think about how you’ll ensure your dog gets enough exercise year-round, whether it’s by taking him on daily walks or heading to the local dog park. Plan out how to prevent your pup from ever being on the balcony alone, and assess whether you need to pet-proof kitchen cupboards or counters.
Plan Out Home Renovations
As you assess your home and plan out how it will work for a dog, you’ll probably identify some renovations that you need to make. Many dog owners choose to invest in fencing in their backyards. A fenced-in backyard can help to keep a dog safe while also allowing him to run, play, and exercise. Not only can a fence help to keep your dog on your property, but it can also help to protect him from other dogs and animals.
While you’re focusing on your yard, consider upgrading your exterior lighting so that the entire yard is well-lit, allowing you to easily keep an eye on your dog during late night or early morning outings.
Investing in an outdoor shower also offers a number of benefits. Not only is it a convenient shower option for you during the summer, but you can bathe dogs in the shower during warm weather, keeping them out of your bathtub so your bathroom stays clean. If you frequently take your dog swimming, having access to an outdoor shower at home is a convenient way to clean both of you off before entering the house.
If you’re renting a home with your dog, think about modifications that you can make that are temporary and mobile. Rather than budgeting to fence in the backyard, investing in a dog kennel that can be disassembled and moved is wiser if you don’t own the property. Be sure that, if you have to move, you budget plenty of time to find a new pet-friendly property, and realize that you’ll probably have to pet-proof that new rental home, too.
Modify Your Car
Whether you’re planning to take your dog on local trips or want to keep him safe on a summer vacation, you’ll need to make a few modifications to your car. When traveling with your dog, you’ll need a way to secure him in the back seat of your car so he can’t interfere with your driving. You can do this in many ways, by purchasing a crate to keep in your car, investing in a wire divider that physically separates the back of your car, or having him wear a canine seat belt.
It’s important to stock your car with plenty of supplies even during shorter trips with a dog. Always have water on hand during the summer, and stock extra treats, food, and a toy or dog bed to help keep your dog comfortable and occupied. Try to get in the habit of keeping an extra leash and collar or harness in your vehicle, since you never know when these items will come in handy. You may also want to create a pet emergency supply kit full of items like gauze, tweezers, and saline to rinse out wounds. Keep this kit in your vehicle just in case your pet is ever injured while on a trip.
Bringing home a new dog is an exciting adventure, and by preparing your car and home, you can help to ensure that you’re ready for plenty of summer and fall adventures with your new family member.