As social pack animals, dogs crave interaction and quality time with their human owners. However, in order to thrive, dogs also need spaces of their own within our homes. Just like humans, dogs appreciate having a comfortable, safe space where they can relax and unwind without disruption.
Providing your dog with their own dedicated zone gives them a sense of security and contentment. Within the busyness of a household, a quiet dog zone allows your pet to take refuge and recharge their batteries. Ensuring your dog has access to all their necessities – food, toys, bedding – in one place also contributes to their happiness.
Choosing the right location
When deciding where to create your dog’s zone, opt for lower-traffic areas without constant bustling activity. This could be a spare bedroom, utility room or corner of the basement. But it’s also important to consider easy access to the outdoors for toilet breaks.
Make sure the space has proper ventilation and is not too hot, cold or damp with soothing lighting to keep your dog relaxed and comfortable. Adequate airflow and moderate temperatures will help keep your dog relaxed in their home base.
Designating a quiet hideaway
Dogs appreciate having a designated spot to relax undisturbed during hectic times. This could be an unused crate with a blanket, open closet space with a dog bed pushed inside, or under a desk. Make sure it’s dimly lit and lined with soft, familiar bedding and safe chew toys.
For anxious or nervous dogs, consider a covered crate or tent structure so they feel sheltered. Calming aromatherapy sprays or music can also soothe them. Respect this as your dog’s private sanctum and don’t force interactions when they’re using it. Let them retreat until they’re ready to re-emerge.
For any renters looking for properties that welcome four-legged companions, reputable letting agencies can help match you with suitable dog-friendly homes and landlords. With some planning, even renters can create ideal dog zones with all the tips we’ve covered.
Soundproofing your dog’s zone
If you have a nervous dog who is easily spooked by loud noises, or a vocal dog whose barking you want to keep contained, consider taking steps to soundproof their private zone. This will help minimise external noises that could bother them and also prevent their own noises from spreading through the rest of the home.
Lay down thick rugs and carpets with foam backing to muffle noises coming from above or below the room. Sound absorbing curtains and tapestries on the walls also help dampen noise. Opt for solid wood doors, as hollow doors do little to block sounds.
For windows, install double-glazed glass or acoustic panels like mass loaded vinyl to reduce outside noise infiltration. You can also look into specialised wall-mounted soundproofing foam or noise damping plasterboard to limit noise transmission.
Providing your anxious or vocal dog with a sound buffered safe space helps promote their relaxation and feelings of security. It also reduces disruptions to your human housemates, keeping the peace for all. With the right soundproofing materials, a dog’s own zone can become a calm oasis.
Dog-proofing your home
It’s important to take some steps to dog-proof the rest of your home, beyond just your dog’s private zone. With some simple precautions, you can make the whole property safer and prevent destructive behaviours.
Start by keeping potential hazards like appliances, chemicals, houseplants, medications and loose wires safely out of your dog’s reach. Strategically placed baby gates are useful for restricting access when you can’t actively supervise. Padding sharp corners of furniture and taping down loose rugs also helps avoid injuries.
When choosing furnishings and flooring, opt for durable, scratch-resistant materials. Stain-resistant slipcovers and washable rugs are ideal, as are hard floors that hold up better to paws and nails than carpeting.
Installing child-proof latches on kitchen bins and valuables cabinets prevents dogs from getting into things they shouldn’t. Odour-proof bins also contain smells that could tempt curious dogs. Offering appropriate chew toys while limiting access to off-limit items like shoes and furniture redirects chewing urges onto acceptable things. Gentle correction and redirection is key for training.
Finally, crate training provides a safe, confined space for your dog when you are out and unable to supervise. This prevents potentially destructive behaviours born of boredom like chewing, digging and mess-making. Take all these dog-proofing steps for a harmonious, hazard-free home.
Soothing dogs when left alone at home
For dog owners who work outside the home, finding ways to accommodate your pet while you’re away takes some preparation. It’s important to note that dogs are social animals and should not be left alone for extended periods of time and the key is setting them up for success with enrichment, potty provisions and monitoring.
As the owner, you know the longest amount of time your pooch can bear to be left alone, but here are some alternative options to consider:
- Dog Walkers – Hire a dog walking service to come by midday to take your dog out for potty breaks and exercise. This gives them companionship and activity.
- Doggy Daycares – Some facilities offer full day supervision and play with other dogs. This keeps your pet engaged and social.
- Automated Feeders – These dispense pre-portioned meals on schedule, keeping your dog fed. Pair with puzzle toys stuffed with food.
- Cameras – Install cameras allowing you to check in and monitor your dog remotely for reassurance.
- Acclimatisation – Help your dog get accustomed to alone time by gradually increasing the intervals you leave. Give them exercise beforehand and leave engaging toys. Try audio/video for comfort.
With the right preparation and management tools, dogs can adapt to their owners’ work schedule. Don’t feel guilty – just be proactive in meeting their needs!
Helping dogs to identify their favourite spot
By carving out a dog-friendly zone catered to their needs, providing cosy hideaways for rest, incorporating smart storage, and taking steps to dog-proof your home, you can create an ideal haven that enables your faithful companion to settle in happily.
With some simple preparation guided by understanding your dog’s preferences, their contentment is assured. Ultimately, a house becomes a harmonious home when all members, both furry and human, have spaces tailored specially for them.