There’s nothing quite like adding a new furry friend to the family. And while your pet’s unconditional love truly is a virtue, there’s no denying the chaos a new pet can cause. If you’re not ready, a new pet can throw your household into complete disarray. That’s why we’re here to help you prepare your home for a new pet.
Pet Proof Everything
Pets – especially young ones like puppies or kittens – are a lot like young children, which is to say, they’ll get into just about anything they see. That’s why it’s critical to safeguard every room in your house to protect your pets from themselves. Pet-proofing your house can include a lot, like
- Keeping hazardous materials (like cleaning solutions) out of reach
- Hiding electrical wires
- Putting up toys with small pieces
- Securing medicines
- Safely storing harmful foods
These are just a few generic examples. Depending on your house, you may have more items to consider when pet-proofing.
Who’s in Charge of What?
Pets are a lot of responsibility, so it’s easier to divvy up those tasks among family members. Decide before bringing the pet home who’s going to feed it, who will handle its potty breaks, who will clean up after it, who will schedule veterinary appointments, and more. Making these decisions in advance will help manage stress levels when accidents happen.
Create a Routine & Stick to It
Routines can help both your family and pet adjust to the new status quo. Regular exercise, consistent feed times, and more will keep your home running smoothly.
Stock Up on Supplies
You’ll need a lot to keep your new pet happy and healthy. Food and water bowls, a leash and collar, toys, dog or cat bed, food, and medication are just a few things you’ll need to get started. Depending on what type of pet you’re getting, you may need even more specialized supplies. A new puppy isn’t going to need the same things a pet snake will, for instance.
What are the Rules for Your New Pet?
Will he or she be allowed on furniture? Where will they sleep at night? If it’s confined to a habitat (like a fish or lizard), where will it be stored? What are the go-to commands that everyone will use to train and interact with the pet? Of course you can’t think of everything before, but setting what rules you can in advance will make your family’s transition that much easier.
Secure Doors & Windows
The last thing you want from your new pet is an accidental escape. Make sure all your doors and windows are secured and can’t be easily opened by a curious paw. Investing in doggy gates and screens can further keep your pets where they belong: safely inside!