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It’s no great secret that living with dogs can be equally fun and a lot of work. Dogs are rambunctious creatures with tons of energy. They’re like that friend who wants to go out every weekend, but instead of every weekend, it’s all the time! Living with dogs indoors can bring all sorts of challenges, but we think those challenges are well worth it.
Whether you’re a first-time pet parent anxiously awaiting your new life of dog ownership or a long-time owner looking to get back into taking care of a dog in your home, this guide will help you in some way. We’ll go over what a dog owner needs to be aware of when welcoming a dog into their space – and why we think it’s well worth it.
Dog-Proofing Your Home
Dogs are curious creatures that will always try to sniff out an opportunity for a treat or just a little fun. Unfortunately for them, many things in a human home can prove dangerous to their curious (and always open) mouths. Small pieces of plastic, pills, electrical wires, devices, paint, power tools – you name it, a curious dog might gnaw it.
Make sure you dog-proof your home before inviting a new dog into your house. This means investing in dog-proof cabinet locks, keeping food on high counters that any athletic dog can’t jump on, and keeping areas of the house that contain chemicals or cleaning products inaccessible to even the most agile animal. A baby gate can be of great benefit to you in this endeavor as well.
The benefit: While this might sound like a lot of work, owning a dog forces you to keep things in your home tidy, and we hardly think that’s a bad thing!
Dogs are naturally protective and usually view their owners as the head of their pack. That means they’re willing to put their life on the line to protect you – even from your 80-year-old grandmother here for Thanksgiving. You’ll need to train your dog not to jump up on strangers and never to play too roughly with anybody. While you might find those play-bites affectionate, they can prove painful and even damaging to a small child or elderly guest. Dog training to play safely can prove challenging, but it’s a must for any responsible pet owner.
The benefit: Many people enjoy playing with dogs, and if your home has a safe and friendly pet option, it could be the go-to visiting spot for your friends and their families.
Keeping Food Out of Reach
We’re sure that you keep your dogs well-fed. However, they aren’t. Dogs are almost always ready for another mouthful of food – especially whatever you’re eating. Training a dog to behave around food can prove to be challenging, but it’s well worth doing if you don’t want them constantly begging and trying to eat off your plate when you turn your back. It can also prevent them from eating food they aren’t supposed to.
Many human foods can prove harmful to a dog – chocolate is the one that everyone thinks of, but there are a lot of them. And while you might usually keep an eye on things, the day might come when you drop that Hershey’s bar and your dog is quicker than you – you can save a whole lot of trips to the vet by simply training your dog not to eat what you tell them not to eat.
The benefit: You’ll save time and stress by training your dog to eat only when told. Plus, your friends and family will always be impressed by a dog that’s well-behaved around food.
Everything Will Smell Like Dog
Dogs have a distinct odor, much like any other animal. If you’ve ever been to a home that’s had dogs in it, then you know what we mean. This is because dogs emit a distinct odor that is unique to them specifically. They use it to mark their scent in their territories and the like. And if they live in your home, then your home is their territory. If you don’t like the smell of dogs, you sure won’t like having one in your home. However, if you don’t mind, then great! There are signs that your dog might smell too much, though.
If the odor is particularly foul, it could be a sign that your dog’s anal glands are impacted and need to be taken care of by a professional. If your dog’s breath smells, they might have a tooth issue that needs to be looked at by a dentist – bad breath could signify many health issues in dogs, so if bad breath persists, you should definitely take them to a vet.
The benefit: Your cat-owning friends will always wrinkle their noses when they come by – it’ll be hilarious!
Overall, It’s All Rewards
If you want to own a dog, keeping them in your home is the only way, no matter the dog breed or if you have a large dog or a small dog. A dog wants to feel like it’s a part of the pack, and if you keep it locked outside or in a doghouse, it’ll lead to all sorts of problems. Not only will they feel lonely and colder, but there are more risks when it comes to dog health and overall safety. While dealing with indoor dog behavior isn’t always a picnic, we think the benefits far outweigh the risks – you get a warm, cuddly pillow that loves you more than anything else – what could be better than that?
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Down to earth, common sense, proven DOG advice
Welcome to Spike’s Dog Blog by Acme Canine. Throughout the site, you will find a variety of helpful dog training articles, insightful dog behavior tips, and truthful product reviews from nationally-recognized canine trainers and professionals.