How to Prepare Your Home for an Emotional Support Dog

An emotional support animal (ESA) can be an excellent addition to any family. When a loved one struggles with autism, PTSD, or mental health in general, emotional support dogs can mean freedom and healing. But how do you prepare your household for the addition of a new canine member? 

Grow Your Library 
The first thing you'll want to do is research, research, research. Obtain some books on the subject, and peruse the best websites. With research, you can learn about registering, raising, and training your new companion. Resources like help people become informed human companions for their ESAs. Whether the ESA is for yourself, your child, your partner, or another member of your household, reading up on the subject is essential. It's the best way to prepare for the smoothest possible transition. 

Find a Good Local Veterinarian 
Your ESA is still like every other dog: it will need veterinary check-ups. It is vital to find a quality local practice that you can trust to take care of your pet over the years. Be sure to read up on reviews and services. Once you get your dog, you can go straight to the vet for a check-up, standard shots, and even a microchip. 

Gather Essential Supplies 
You don't want to be in a situation where you have to run out to the store last-minute for forgotten supplies. With a new pooch at home, you want to stock up early, so you're ready later. Here are just a few of the supplies you will need for an emotional support animal: 

● Food and water dishes 
● Customized ID tag with phone number and address 
● Dog crate for transportation 
● Bedding 
● Healthy dog food 
● Doggie shampoo 
● Emotional support animal harness/signage 
● Toys and treats 

For an emotional support animal, labels and ID info are essential to protect your ESA and avoid uncomfortable questions. 

Puppy-Proof Your Valuables and Furniture 
With any new pet, you'll need to do some cleaning and rearranging before bringing them home. The best way to prevent damage to valuables and furniture is to get them out of the way. Put away breakables in a closet or cabinet. You can cover furniture with sheets or moved them into closed-door rooms where the dog cannot enter. Some pet owners use Bitter Apple spray on the legs of tables and chairs. The taste of this product will prevent unwanted chewing. Besides securing your belongings from your pet, protect the dog from potentially hazardous items in your home. Be sure to get rid of items like: 

● Electrical Cords 
● Choking hazards 
● Poisonous foods like chocolate 

Preparation will help you avoid unforeseen disasters, like choking, electrocution, or poisoning, leading to an urgent trip to the vet. 

Get in the Right Mindset 
Preparation can help you to avoid issues while helping your pet adjust to life in your home. But the most critical thing to remember is that a dog is an animal, and some chaos is inevitable. Be patient with your ESA, especially through a transition that may be as difficult for them as it is for you. Know that with training and adjustment, your dog will learn the household's rules and become more comfortable. 

The Bottom Line 
An emotional support animal can help you or your loved one to live a happier life. Preparation is vital in maintaining a seamless transition into the home. As you prepare your home for your ESA, remember to research, find a veterinarian, and puppy-proof your valuables.

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