Getting a new puppy is exciting! If you’re like me, you’ve planned and searched for your new fur kid for a while. As soon as I saw her face I knew she was my baby. Those wrinkles, her coloring, the floppy ears, she was exactly perfect and I knew it. I’m pretty sure she knew it too! When I got to meet her in person, she walked right up to me, hugged my leg and wanted to be picked up right away. A few short days after that first meeting, she and I were in the car going home to our new adventures together.
Spoiler alert, there’s not only some good advice here, there’s also a couple adorable puppy pictures too! To further set the picture, she’s sitting in my lap as I’m writing this and not happy with not getting 100% of my attention. If you want a lesson in living in the moment, get a dog. They’re great teachers!
Anyway, you’re never totally prepared for the change getting a puppy brings to your life, that’s all part of the adventure. Figuring out potty breaks, meal time, play time, nap time… It’s all new. Even with all the schedule changes there are a few things you can do in your home to make the transition a bit smoother. Here’s 5 essential ways to make your home puppy friendly.
5 Essential Ways to Make Your Home Puppy Friendly, #1: Skip The Expensive Rugs
There’s nothing worse investing in a beautiful and pricy area rug and having it get stained. Spilt wine, mud, dirt, tar. You can usually prevent those mishaps pretty easily. Puppies in potty training mode are not as predictable. One minute you’re playing and rolling around with her and the next second she’s pee pee’d on your $5000 designer rug before you can catch her. (Puppies can pee quicker than switching on a light!). Skip the heartbreak and go for a easy clean rug that you can keep down during this training phase. There are tons of really awesome options on the market today. Inexpensive rugs have come a long way and with a couple of small hacks, you can make your cheap rug look and feel more expensive:
Use a thick pad under a thin rug. It will make it look more plush feel more high end. and it will be safer and more slip proof.
Consider going with a pattern that will make tougher stains a bit less noticeable.
Always keep an emergency clean up kit close by. Stains are easier to manage when they are not set in. I like a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol, a stiff bristle brush and a white kitchen sponge as an emergency clean up kit.
5 Essential Ways to Make Your Home Puppy Friendly, #2: Match the Décor to Fur Color
As in tip 1, you can certainly find inexpensive area rugs to match the new puppy’s coat, that’s the easy part. It’s a bit tougher when you need to plan around the furniture. Unless you are 100% certain of the color of your new pooch months in advance, you probably aren’t going to have the easiest time matching up furniture. If you do have the time to shop, I suggest getting a durable, easy clean fabric that can stand up to the family and your new puppy. Indoor/outdoor fabrics have made a huge impact on the furniture market in recent years and you’re likely to get your money’s worth without a question. Unlike expensive area rugs, which can be rolled up and stored pretty easily, going out and buying a new family room set to go with the new puppy probably isn’t realistic. My hack for this:
Slip covers are your best friend! Like inexpensive area rugs, a good slip cover is a life saver during training time. You can remove them and pop them in the wash whenever a mishap occurs.
5 Essential Ways to Make Your Home Puppy Friendly, #3: Invest in a Duvet Cover
I’ll bet you’re starting to see the pattern here: easy maintenance makes for a happy training time. My dog’s have always slept on my bed. Judge me if you will but, it’s been this way forever with me. There’s nothing like a puppy snuggle. My little monster is not happy unless she’s breathing my air and holding onto me like a security blanket, it’s the cutest thing! When you have, fur, treat crumbs and drool, it doesn’t make for a super comfortable night’s sleep. And that’s just me, a puppy adds a whole other level! (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
A duvet cover that you can take off and wash as often as you change the sheets is the key to a good night’s sleep. Washing it will cut down on dust and dander. Like expensive area rugs, do yourself a favor and don’t buy a duvet that is dry clean only. There are scads of beautiful, washable duvet covers that can be stain treated before the laundry.
5 Essential Ways to Make Your Home Puppy Friendly, #4: Create a Dog Zone
This is an area that has quick access to the outside, has a place to wipe dirty paws off and maybe a sink or tub for bathing. I have a small laundry area that has a door to my back deck. It’s easy in and out for the pup and allows me to close off an interior door so I have a fighting chance to clean her up before she tears through the house. I’m going to install a stationary tub to have a place to give her a bath and to rise off muddy paws. We have actual 4 seasons her in Buffalo and Winter is no joke, lots of slush and mud to contend with. You can make this area elaborate or paired down and simple, but it will make a huge difference in the clean up you encounter from day to day.
I’m lucky to have some built-in cabinets in my laundry/dog zone. There’s plenty of space to store extra treats, towels and anything else I might need on the way in or out.
No worries if you don’t have cabinets. You can easily accomplish the same purpose with a small store bought cabinet, shelf or storage bench.
In a pinch, keep a bucket with some soapy water next to the door so you can wash her paws off before going through the house. This is important in case she walks through ice melt salt. That stuff can be painful if left on their paws.
5 Essential Ways to Make Your Home Puppy Friendly, #5: Paint Your Walls With Washable Paint
It’s going to happen. Your fur kid is going to be covered in muddy water or soap suds from the bath and she is going to shake. I picture this in slow motion just like on a TV commercial for paper towels. You’ll be trying to multitask and she’ll seize the opportunity to cover the walls in all sorts of goo and fur. Clean or dirty, this is another thing to clean up. I say skip the flocked wallpaper that is $300 a roll and go for an easy wipe, semigloss, washable paint. If a bit of shine is not your thing, pretty much every paint store will have a washable matte finish paint too. Tell them what you need it for and let the experts guide you. Paint comes in any color and you won’t have to worry about protecting your walls from the inevitable.
We share our lives with our fur kids and I can tell you I wouldn’t have it any other way. Big or small dog, there’s always going to be some extra stuff to clean up, wash, put away, etc. Whether this is your first time or twenty first time, with a little bit of planning, you can make your home puppy friendly!
Thank you so much for reading this post. I’d love to hear your experiences with adopting a new puppy and the things you do to make your home puppy friendly. Feel free to leave a comment below or pass it along to a friend with a new pooch. Do you follow me on Instagram yet? I post daily inspiration, projects I’m working on and lot’s of other encouragement to get you tackling your home decorating projects. There’s also tons of puggy pictures too! Check out my link at the bottom of the page.
If you’d like to keep in touch, sign up for my notifications so that each time I post you get to hear about it first. Simply go to my Secrets Only Designers Know To Make Your Space Rock printable to sign up. It’s got all kinds of great stuff in it to help you tackle a multitude of home decorating projects. You can find the link right below this post if you’re on mobile or along the right-hand side if you’re on any other device. I am so grateful you decided to take the time to read my post and until next week, go hug that new puppy and keep being the amazing you that you are!
I’m chief banana at Michael Helwig Interiors in beautiful Buffalo, New York. I happily share my experience in the world of home decorating and design to help folks avoid expensive mistakes and decorating disappointments. I’m pretty crafty with simple diy projects and I love to teach others how to create beautiful and functional decor for their homes. My motto is “every decorating challenge is figure-out-able.”