Tips for preparing your home for a pet – words Alexa Wang
You’ve adopted a new best friend, congratulations! This is an exciting time, and it’s also a big change. You’re likely more than ready to bring home Fido or Fluffy, but don’t move so fast.
If you’ve never had a pet in your home before, you’re going to need to make some changes to ensure your home is safe and pet-friendly.
This is a huge milestone. Yet, at the same time, it does invite new challenges. Both dogs and cats need time to settle into a new space, so don’t be surprised if they aren’t right at home immediately. Here’s a list of tips for preparing your home for a new pet.
1. Talk to Your Roommates or Spouse
Unless you live alone, you’ll need to have a discussion with your roomies. If this roomie is your significant other, you’ll still need to have a conversation about responsibility. Who will be responsible for the pet? Who’s going to take the dog out in the middle of the night? Who’s going to clean the litter box.
These are conversations you want to have before your pet comes home. All members of the household also need to know how to make sure your pet is safe. For instance, you’ll need some ground rules like keeping the door closed and locked, not feeding the pet human food and being kind and gentle. Remember, this is a transition for everyone, not just your pet.
2. Get the Right Supplies
Now comes the fun part. You need to have the right supplies for your dog or cat so that everything’s ready when they come home. If you have a dog, you’ll need things like a leash, collar, food bowls, bed, and maybe a crate. For a cat, you’ll need a litter box, food bowls, and maybe some toys.
Talk to your pet rescue or your breeder about your pet’s diet. What have they been eating? From there, do your own research. You might be surprised to learn that not all pet food is created equal. Like human food, there are often a lot of unhealthy fillers. When in doubt, talk to a vet about the best diet for your furry friend.
3. Pet-Proof Your Home
Before your pet comes home, you want to make sure your space is safe for them. This will be mostly the same for both dogs and cats, but you’ll need to be extra careful depending on the size and age of your pet. You never know how a new dog or cat will respond to a new place. Some act out and destroy furniture while others might look for a place to hide. Do your best to prepare for every possible situation.
First, move everything unsafe out of the pet’s reach. Don’t underestimate your dog or cat’s ability to open cabinets and get into places they shouldn’t. Tape any electrical cords to your baseboards so they’re out of the way. You might even consider a baby gate to keep your dog or cat in a specific, safer area of your home.
4. Learn Your Pet’s Habits
Once your pet moves into your space officially, it’s time to learn as you go. Mistakes will definitely happen, and they’re okay as long as you learn from them. For example, you might leave the bathroom door open while you’re at work only to discover your cat loves playing with toilet paper. Now that you know this, you can create a plan for keeping bathroom doors closed.
Always keep an eye on your pet when they’re still getting comfortable with your space. If you notice them getting into anything, be proactive. Are they causing trouble in one part of the home? Is there too much temptation in the kitchen around food, for instance? Make changes to keep your pet and your family safe.
5. Enjoy Your Best Friend
Once you’ve gotten through the initial welcome period, your pet will start to feel comfortable in your home. This is a great sign that your furry friend trusts you and feels closer to you. Make sure you keep finding more ways to include your pet in your home. For example, if you’re a fan of art, click to find out more about the cutest pet portraits to show your new friend just how much they mean to your family.
Bringing a new dog or cat into the home can be stressful if you’re not prepared. These tips above will make sure your pet is safe and comfortable by your side. Now you get to spend your life with your new friend, congratulations!