A dog can be the best friend you'll ever have, but it can also wreak havoc on your home. No matter how well-trained a dog is, accidents are bound to happen. It's important for pet owners to create an environment that prevents animals from creating damage that could cause issues during a home inspection. If you have a canine companion or plan on adopting a puppy in the near future, follow these tips to ensure your new best friend is a great roommate:

Limit access

Dogs are curious animals and will explore every inch of your home if given the chance. Don't let them roam free. Curtail your animals' movements with doorway baby gates. These plastic grates swing open to allow humans easy passage but provide a solid barrier that will keep hounds at bay. 

When you select the space for your dogs to inhabit, pick a room that has tile or hardwood floors. Dogs can be messy, and even the best-behaved animal is going to have an occasional accident. Hard surfaces make cleanup a cinch, while carpeting requires extra effort to remove stains and smells. 

Above all, observe your pet whenever possible. This will let you catch bad behaviors early and correct them immediately. 

Be ready to clean

Whether you keep your pet in a room with hard flooring or allow it to roam into carpeted spaces, you'll want to have cleanup materials ready for inevitable accidents. When a dog marks an area with its scent, it establishes a pattern. The dog will return to that same place in the future unless you quickly eradicate the smell. 

When you clean up any pet waste, be sure to use gloves. If the mess is on a solid floor, start by sopping up any moisture with paper towels. Then, cover the area with baking soda to remove any residual moisture. Let the baking soda sit for several hours, and then vacuum it up. Finally, rinse the area with a mixture of warm water and vinegar. That will knock out any residual scent. 

The process is a bit more complex for messes on carpet. Pet odors can be much more entrenched in carpeted areas, so invest in a commercially available pet odor neutralizer. This will permanently knock out the scent. Otherwise, the process is largely the same as what you'll do for solid floors. If the issue goes untreated for too long, waste will sink down into the carpet padding. This could necessitate carpet replacement, so deal with this issue quickly. 

Elevate everything

Dogs interact with the world by chewing on anything and everything. This is adorable when they chew on a squeaky toy but can be a real issue when they chow down on something valuable or poisonous. To eliminate dangerous situations and property damage, move anything of importance out of the dog's reach. 

You'll want to be most careful about cleaning supplies and other chemical products. Antifreeze is a particularly risky product because dogs like the way it tastes. If possible, keep your dog out of the garage entirely to limit its exposure to pesticides and other dangers. 

Establish a sleeping space

You may want to spend every minute of the day with your animal, but you should part ways each night. Putting your dog in a crate each night will make the animal more relaxed about separation and will prevent your pet from roaming the house without supervision. 

Cover outlets

Dogs' curiosity can prompt them to chew on electrical cords and lick outlets. Use the plastic outlet caps designed to protect toddlers to keep your canine from electrocuting themselves.