Bringing home your first pet is a momentous occasion. Whether it’s the first time in your life you’ve owned pets, or you grew up in a house full of them and now you’re an adult and taking responsibility for your own cat or dog for the first time, there’s a lot you have to worry about getting right.
Today we’re taking a look at some of the things you can do to ensure your home is ready to bring a pet into, and be sure that it’s safe and comfortable for them.
Toxins and Dangers
There are a surprising number of things in your home and garden that could prove poisonous to a dog or cat. Even the innocuous privet hedge can be a danger if a puppy gets hold of enough of the leaves, and chocolate can be very harmful to dogs, cats and small pets like mice if they’re able to get their paws on it!
The rules aren’t the same for every pet, so make sure you know what you need to do specifically. You can get vet advice online about what you need to cover up or root out of your garden and make sure your home is safe for your puppy or kitten.
As much as you’ll love your new pet, you’ll need to acknowledge that they have the potential to be a destructive force, especially before you’ve been able to housetrain them. Cats will claw furniture and scratch at carpets and dogs will chew anything they can get hold of. A new pet is like a curious toddler, but with sharp teeth and claws for extra destructive power!
You might want to fit child safe locks to your floor level cupboards in the kitchen, to avoid curious paws getting into your kitchen stores, and ensuring that fragile items, and those you don’t want chewed are stored well above your new pet’s reach.
There are all sorts of essentials you’ll want to stock up on to ensure you have everything you need for your new pet from day one. Food is only the beginning of what you need (though bear in mind a kitten or puppy will have different nutritional needs from a fully-grown animal).
Bedding is important – designating a bed for a puppy and ensuring they sleep there helps to ensure your furniture will be safer. You can try the same system with a cat, though possibly with less success.
There are also cupboards worth of sprays you might want to buy in – from those intended to discourage cats from scratching at particular bits of furniture to enzyme sprays that can clean away any accidents your pets may have indoors before they’re fully housetrained, and prevent any one spot becoming too ‘popular’.
As long as you do your research to make sure you have the things you need, you’ll feel confident that you’re bringing your first pet to a safe, happy home!