How to do DIY

How to: make your home pooch friendly

You've suffered enough landlords with "NO PETS" as the first rule on their person specification. Now that you're a homeowner, you can have an entire menagerie if you like! That'll show your previous landlord. You could be like the Doctor Doolittle of your hometown.

One of the most popular pets in the UK is the dog, with approximately 25 per cent of households playing host to these humble, drooling simpletons. This is because, despite being drooling simpletons, they're also one of the most joyous animals to spend time with (and actually quite clever, if you ignore the drooling).

While you don't have to worry about a grumbling landlord anymore, it's still important to kit out your home for when your four-legged friend arrives, and know how to keep it clean.

So, what can you do to make your loyal companion comfortable?

How to make your companion comfortable

Stop them bringing in their mess
The one thing you'll notice when you get a dog is that they're mucky little devils. After bounding around the park for a few hours or digging holes in the garden, they'll be covered in more dirt and grime than a race car at the Paris-Dakar Rally.

Without investing in some pet mats for them to wipe themselves, that mud will spread through your house like pollen from a dandelion. Available from a number of good dealers, pet mats should be placed at your front and back door, as well as by the doggy bowl to stop crumbs and gunk from squashing into your flooring.

Make their space their territory
Dogs, despite their friendly nature, are inherently territorial creatures. They like to know what their space is in the house and what they can do with it. If you're a good owner, your duty is to respect that space. Try not to disrupt your dog's territory in the house too often, and don't move their bed around – this will only cause boundary confusion for your pet.

More than this, buy your dog a few treats and toys that they can spread around and enjoy. That way, your canine won't just feel like they're in their owner's house – they'll feel at home.

Give the garden a makeover
If there's one thing that dogs love, it's a romp around the garden. Digging holes, sliding along the grass, decimating a football – you'll never see a pooch happier than when it's outside in good old fashioned nature.

Which is why you should make your garden as dog-friendly as possible. Ensure that no weeds or nettles are growing to sting your pet, and remove any flowers or plants that are poisonous, lest your hound fancies a nibble of the flora. Also, be sure to keep the grass short and cut it frequently – you don't want to be hunting around for dog muck in tall grass.

Get all these precautions in place and the newest addition to your home will be settled in no time.

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