wikiHow to Prepare Your Household for a New Dog

Adopting a pet into your family can be very exciting and fun. However, it is imperative that your household is prepared for the arrival of a dog. In this article, it will show you a few simple steps regarding the act of "dog-proofing" and organizing your house for the coming of your new friend.


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    Sit down with your family to discuss the issue of adopting a pet. Emphasize on the many responsibilities that everyone will have to take on to make this successful. If any, remind your children that they will also have to help care for the new pet.
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    Create a chart that displays everyone's name and the job they will have when the animal arrives, i.e. exercising, feeding, training, etc. Take into consideration how much time your family is willing to relinquish to the caring for this pet.
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    Discuss what breed of animal your family should purchase. Keep any allergies in mind. For example, if your family wants a dog, and your child has a mild allergy to dog dander, consider acquiring a poodle or a poodle mix because poodles don't shed.
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    Do some research on where or who you will buy the dog from. Decide if you will adopt one from a shelter or a breeder. Breeders can be more expensive, but purebred dogs can be more predictable when it comes to temperament than a mutt from a shelter. However, if you adopt from a shelter, you are rescuing an animal from possibly harsh, undesirable conditions.
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    Take a look at the conditions you live in. Do you live in an apartment in a city, or do you have a house with a yard? Is your house clean or relatively unorganized? Where would the animal eat and sleep? Decide on where supplies will be located ahead of time to avoid confusion. Decide where the dog will exercise too. No matter how big or small, exercise is a big component to a dog's healthy lifestyle.
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    Clean your house from top to bottom. Take any valuable objects and place them in secure storage containers that are out of reach. If you are buying a small dog, you will need to devise a plan to block small areas in which an animal can get to, but you cannot, i.e. under dressers or beds.
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    Decide on how you will house-train your dog. One very effective way is crate training. Buy a metal crate suitable for the size of your dog. Put it in the area in which your dog will "live" the most, i.e. the living room or your bedroom. Place blankets and toys in the bottom to entertain your dog and create a sense of home and security. You want the crate to become a positive thing, not negative. Crate training is based on the idea that by nature, dogs do not relieve themselves in the area in which they eat and sleep. When it is time to go to sleep, lock the dog in the crate. Do the same when you leave the house. It may seem cruel, but the dog will soon learn that the crate is not a place to go to the bathroom, but to sleep and relax. If the dog ever does accidentally go to the bathroom in your house or in their crate, call their attention to the stain. Say "No." firmly, and take them outside, even if they do not need to "go" anymore. The dog will make the connection that the crate is the place to sleep and the yard is the place to go to the bathroom. Make sure you devise a way for the dog to alert you that it needs to go to the bathroom, i.e. the dog nudges a bell on the door, or they scratch the door. Chances are the dog will figure out a way to alert you of this in a way that you can both understand. Eventually, you will remove the crate and replace it with a dog pillow or a blanket. This will serve as the dog's bed.
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    Establish rules in which your family and the dog will have to abide by. Think about where you want your dog to be and what places are off limits. For example, will your dog be allowed on the couch (once it's crate trained, of course)? Will he or she be allowed on the second floor, if any? Make sure that your family agrees on these terms to minimize any confusions for you and the dog.
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    You are now ready to purchase a new dog. Keep in mind that this day will be very stressful for the dog and to have your family keep calm and collected as the dog enters. Don't be surprised if your dog resists you when you try to pull him or her into the house. Have each family member slowly and calmly approach the dog with their fist extended so the dog can sniff them. If that goes well, have them pet the animal softly on the head.
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    Once your new dog has received a "grand tour" of your house, take the pet to the local pet store to purchase supplies, i.e. food, toys, leashes, etc. Ask a pet store employee to help you with your decisions if you are a first-time dog owner.


  • Sympathize with the dog. Imagine if you had just been taken out of a traumatizing situation, such as an animal shelter, and then forcefully pulled into a house you had never seen before, filled with a bunch of humans twice as big as you. Plus, they can't understand anything you're saying. Don't be angry if they do something wrong at first, they already have enough on their minds.
  • Encourage your kids to spend as much time as possible with your dog so they can become friends.
  • Spay or neuter your dog if it has not been already.
  • Train your dog as early as you can.
  • Play with your dog often.
  • Socialize your dog early so they do not become shy when they get older.


  • If crate training make sure not to use the crate as a punishment, as he/she will associate it with bad things not good
  • Do not play too rough because then you may have an aggressive dog when they get bigger, which involves biting and jumping.
  • Consider not buying a dog when someone in the household has allergies.

Things You'll Need

  • Crate (if you want to crate train your dog)
  • Leash
  • Collar or harness
  • Bed
  • Potty bags

Article Info

Categories: New Pets