There are many considerations that pet-parents should be aware of when deciding to become a doggy-mum or dad, with the home environment being a good place to start… and whether a furry family member can easily fit in or whether changes will be needed!
Providing your dog with a suitable environment takes planning. So, here are a few canine fundamentals that will help to create a dog friendly home.
The environment should be:
Safe and free from hazards
Think poisonous plants and flowers (if in doubt… check!), chemicals, open windows and balconies (fall-from-height injuries are not uncommon), unsafe electrical sockets, even children’s toys and sweets (especially chocolate) left lying around.
Free from known causes of fear and anxiety
Such as frequent loud noises and aversive stimuli which can include other animals and the regular intrusion of visitors, especially if they promote negative behaviours.
Your dog will value quiet areas and space for some undisturbed “me” time as needed. This is really important in family environments, as children may not understand why their pooch-pal doesn’t want to play all the time.
Comfortable for doggy snoozes and resting (dogs need lots of sleep!)
An area that is dry, draft-free and an appropriate temperature will do nicely to start with…. And yes, that may mean leaving the A/C on, especially during the summer!
Accessible to a toileting area or with adequate opportunity for regular toilet breaks
Dogs can become distressed if unable to do their business away from their living area.
Temperature controlled as dogs are very vulnerable to heat stress!
This is a serious issue everywhere but, while in many countries, dogs may suffer critical or even fatal heat stress issues when locked into cars, conservatories or other heat-increasing confined spaces, in our part of the world, just being outside for too long can induce the same awful results. So, it is crucial that dogs can shelter from the sun in a cool space to escape the summer heat and humidity.
An environment that allows you to provide your dog with lots of love!
Dogs are naturally sociable and will normally seek company; they love to love and be loved. Let your dog dictate terms but always be ready to be affectionate and provide lots of positive reinforcement for all the wonderful doggy things they do, which means that their home environment should allow them to be a happy dog, to be able to play, to snooze and be safe… and to be rewarded for just being themselves!
With these basics in place, your doggies will be well on the way to having the very happiest homes!
Dr. Katrin is the founder of the German Veterinary Clinic. Her passion and commitment to delivering the highest standards of animal care as well as her extensive knowledge and experience has enabled the clinic to expand and flourish.
Dr Katrin is currently a resident in Veterinary Behaviour Medicine of both the European as well as American College of Animal Welfare and Behaviour Medicine and is the first (and only) veterinarian in the Middle East to specialize in this field. This means that GVC is the only clinic that can treat the mental, emotional and physical health of all our pet-patients.