Helping new pets feel at home in your home is a bit of an art form, and no one knows that better than we do. Inspired by my first rescue dog, Charlie, my soft spot for animals now give pets a soft place to land--with pet beds pretty enough to place in every room.
Here are 5 ways to you can help your new dog feel welcome in their new home.
1. Embrace the form.
Dog beds often get shoved out of sight in dark corners, since they are traditionally kind of frumpy - and that’s putting it nicely. The more the bed looks and feels like a beautiful accessory in the space, the more you'll show it off, and the more your dog will feel like he belongs, too.
2. Keep it fresh.
If there’s one thing pet owners have in common, it’s a love of animals--and an aversion to a house that smells like them. Seek out beds with waterproof, odor-resistant liners and modern, washable, upholstery-weight fabrics that can withstand wear. One way to make pets comfortable and welcome in every room is by providing a conveniently-placed bed that complements your decor, so they aren’t compelled to hang out on your furniture.
3. Find what fits their needs.
Pets come in different sizes and shapes, and they all sleep differently. If you are wondering how to find the right size dog bed, pay attention to their position. Some small dogs like to stretch, some big dogs like to curl into a small donut, and some dogs don’t like to sleep alone. Your dog’s weight is a good starting point for choosing the right bed, but his sleep shape matters just as much.
4. Create consistency.
Firm rules and structure help dogs know where they fit in and how to function happily in the family. Finding a dog bed that works--and sticking with it--gives your dog a sense of security. Cheaper, conventionally manufactured dog beds aren’t meant to last; the filling gets bunched, the seams rip, and most fabrics can’t be washed effectively. Think about how you’d feel if someone kept switching out your mattress just as you got comfortable--it’s not a great feeling.
5. Give some space.
While it’s important to help your pet feel at home, it’s just important to give them their own space. Give your new dog a stylish-yet-functional dog bed next to a couch or tucked in the corner, so pets are close enough where they feel like they are in on the action, but far enough away to get a rest if they need it. Lightweight washable pet mats can also help cover sofas and chairs for pets who are invited up.
Of course, even if you find the perfect dog bed and put it in the perfect spot, it may take some time for your dog to make an instant connection to your home. Rest assured, this transition phase will pass, and it won’t be long before you--and your dog--can’t remember a time when you didn’t belong together.