If you’re downsizing to an apartment or townhouse it’s wise to get your new home pooch-ready before you move in. Here are a few tips to make your unit more dog friendly.
· In an apartment your dog will be spending much more time indoors, so you have to look at the materials in your home to ensure they are durable, hard-wearing and comfortable. If you have a say in the type of flooring in your home, it’s a good idea to go for tiles or other hardy floors. While timber floors are beautiful, many softer timbers will show up every scratch or scrape from dog claws, so are best avoided. Keep carpets to bedrooms and non-dog areas as they can hold on to odours and harbour bacteria, causing allergies and that unpleasant doggy smell.
· It’s also a good idea to keep windows open to ensure your new home can be aired naturally – this will also help reduce doggy smells.
· Be prepared to walk more. Without a backyard your dog won’t be able to exercise herself, so you’ll need to set aside times for regular walks or trips to the park. Even older, sedentary dogs need to the stimulation of regular trips outdoors.
· If space allows, create a corner that is a dedicated dog area. Keep his bed, bowl and toys in the one spot so he has his own space to retreat to.
· It’s sensible to have a dedicated doggy area just inside the front door. Here you store leads, doggy balls and other canine bits and pieces. Hang a couple of hooks for towels – you’ll need these to clean off your pet after a trip to the beach or park and before he heads back inside.
· When choosing furniture, soft furnishings and rugs, it’s best to avoid white. Patterns and colours hide stains much better. Also invest in blankets and throw to cover furniture – make sure they are stain-resistant and machine washable.
· Before you unpack, take your dog for a walk around your new home to identify potential hazards – to the dog and your stuff. See what areas need to be pet-proofed. You might need to invest in baby gates to keep your nosey pooch out of rooms he’s not allowed in, at least until he gets used to his new home.
· Whatever type of home you live in, it’s important to place valuables well above tail-wagging height or in rooms that are off-limits to pets. It’s easy to forget that we used to keep grandma’s old dinner set up high when we are unpacking in a new house.
· Invest in a new dog brush and shampoo. Regular grooming will ensure there is less shedding and fewer hairs on your furniture.