Welcoming a new pet into your home is a super fun occasion, for many, as meaningful as welcoming a new member into the family. And just like with any family member, you want your pet to be safe, happy and healthy in their new home. Pet-proofing your home is very important because you want the adjustment period to go as smoothly as possible, both for you and the pet. Let’s see how you can make a new environment more welcoming for your dog or cat:
Ensure top safety
Before your pet is ready for adoption, start preparing your home by inspecting it for hazards. Do you have any loose strings lying around? Maybe you still have your holiday ornaments up or an exposed trashcan. What about your plants? If you already have a house-trained pet, they might know their boundaries and ignore forbidden things. However, a new kitten or pup will gladly dig through the trash, pull on things, and chew on stuff. To prevent accidents, remove all things like chemicals, cleaning products, small toys with detachable parts, meds, human snacks, and electronics from your pet’s reach.
You might also want to equip your windows, doors, and staircases with screens that will prevent accidents and keep your pet out of certain areas. This is especially important for cats because they can easily jump out the window, climb unsecured furniture and injure themselves. “Train” your family to keep the toilet door closed or at least close the toilet bowl lid to prevent jumping inside or taking a drink.
Clean the house
Young animals can be sensitive to new environments and pathogens living in there, so clean your house and remove all dangerous materials. Pay special attention to your outdoor spaces that might contain plants that are harmful to cats and dogs, as well as fertilizers, seeds, and tools for gardening that might cause health issues and injuries.
Create a peaceful space for them
When your pet arrives, your home will be very strange in their eyes, even causing a lot of anxiety and stress. To ensure your pet feels safe and comfortable, they need to have their own private space where they can retreat. Find a relatively peaceful and cool place to place a kennel or basket and teach everyone in your home not to disturb the pet when they choose to rest and relax in their sweet spot.
Stock up on toys and supplies
Cats and dogs both love to play around, so make sure to stock up on toys. Chew and scratch toys will ensure your pet is entertained in a safe way that won’t cause injury to them or your possessions. Buy toys only from pet stores because these items are approved by vets and made specifically for animals. It’s also important to have all the supplies ready. Grab new smart tags that attach to the collar and help you locate your pet if they get lost. These tags can be programmed with your pet’s information and their address, so people can quickly return them to you.
Other things to buy include food and water bowls, collars, leashes, potty bags, litter boxes and litter, and some winter clothing for short-hair breeds. Also, stock up on foods familiar to your pet, even if they are low in quality. Changing their diet suddenly can result in unnecessary added stress.
Create a good schedule
Pets love a healthy routine—it’s great for reducing stress. Try your best to create a good schedule for your pet and assign chores for all your house members, including pet bathing and living room carpet cleaning. If you choose to wing it, you can easily miss feedings, exercise, and playtime, causing your pet to feel neglected. A clear schedule to follow is also vital for your kids because it teaches them responsibility and care for other living beings.
Prepare for training
Another thing to research in advance is pet training. Today, you can easily find many dog (and cat) training strategies, some more effective or intensive than others. If you can’t pick the right strategy, consult with experts and seek their advice. Once your pet arrives, it’s necessary to start their training immediately to prevent bad habits from forming. Of course, your training strategies always depend on your living situation, your pet’s size, breed, and personality.
Adopting a new pet is a big commitment and responsibility, but if you prepare well, it can be the best decision you can make for yourself and your family. Keep these tips in mind and enjoy the experience to the fullest.