20th December 2018
From bringing home a young puppy or kitten to welcoming an older pet to the family, you’ll want to make sure your house is pet-proofed before you pick up your new pet. Once your new addition is home, you’ll be too distracted by the cuteness to concentrate on preparing and safeguarding, and by then it might be too late and damage might have already been done.
Pet-proofing will not only help keep your new pet safe from any injuries and tummy aches from chewing at things they shouldn’t have, but it’ll also protect your bits and bobs from any nosy pets. So, let’s get started!
Protect your possessions
If you’re sitting on the sofa reading this then have a quick glance around the room. What can you see? Books, DVDs, toys, slippers, blankets? All kept at a level your new pet could reach. It might be a good idea to put them away for the time being, by buying an extra cupboard or blanket basket.
If you don’t want to alter your home too much, that’s fine too, but it’s probably best to keep them away from any loose accessories while you’re not around.
Give them space
This is important especially in trying to get your new pet settled in its new home. This will also help minimise the damage your puppy or kitten will be able to unleash when you’re out and about.
You might want to create a crate den for your dog, where they’ll feel safe and secure (after some training), or simply pick a room where you won’t mind your cat clawing at the furniture. Once they’ve settled and they’re housetrained you’ll be able to give them access to more space around the home, but don’t overwhelm them.
Bit by bit, they’ll rule the roost!
Doors, gates and windows
Baby gates are handy to keep a puppy or dog confined in a space you’re happy with, but cats are a little trickier. When you come in and out of your house, you’ll need to make sure you close the door behind you so that your pet can’t make a run for it.
Close the doors of any rooms you don’t want your pet to go investigating, as well as making sure you pip the lid down on the toilet.
Invest in some safety cupboard locks, just like you would if you were trying to stop a toddler from looking for sweets! This will stop any climbing kitties from making their way into the kitchen cabinets.
You will need to look out for any unsafe gaps or accessible narrow confines, and try to get them blocked so no pet gets stuck or hurt while investigating their new surroundings.
Toxic & edible? Do your homework
And make sure your dog doesn’t eat it. Dogs and cats can eat certain foods without harm, but you’ll need to make sure you do your research first, before you end up at the vets. The same goes for any plants you have around the house, as some are toxic to pets.
Antifreeze, rodent poison, cleaning products and medicinal products should be kept out of reach, or in one of your locked cupboards. Out of sight, out of mind, out of harm’s way.
Supplies and equipment
Make a list and get out to the shops. From puppy pads to fun chew toys, you’ll need to make sure you’re stocked ready for the introduction of a new dog. The same applies to cats, you’ll want to make them feel at home and have all the kitty essentials before your new cat arrives. From litter trays to scratch posts, and grooming brushes, you’ll need the lot.
If you get the things you need before your new addition comes home, you’ll be able to concentrate on helping them settle in and enjoy it without having to rush around to buy the things you’ve forgotten.
The most important thing to remember is that deciding to welcome a new pet into your family is a big deal, and a lot of thought and preparation should be made before jumping into the deep end.
They’re cute, but they can be hard work, too. If this week, month, or year isn’t the right time for you there will always be another week, month or year.