Preparing your home and garden for a new pet

Check our top tips on preparing your house and garden before you bring a new cat or dog home, to make your home safe and comfortable for your new pet.

13th January 2020

Bringing a new pet home is an exciting time and one that comes with plenty of preparation from everyone involved. Whether you’re bringing home your family’s first puppy or rescuing an older cat so they can live in a loving home, you’ll need to prepare your home to make it safe and comfortable for your new pet.

Here’s a list of things you and your family will need to do to pet-proof your home before the big day:

Pick a room for your new pet

Your pet will need somewhere to escape to while they get used to their new surroundings. This will give them somewhere to sleep, and their food and water bowls shouldn’t be too far away so they can satisfy their needs in one area. This will just be for a few weeks, and once they get comfortable with their new home, you’ll be able to move their bed if you want to.

Some puppy and dog owners buy a crate to provide their pet with a safe and comfortable area in the house, while others let their new pet have free reign of a safe room while they adjust.

Pet-proof your home

You might think your home is safe for a new pet, but you’ll be surprised at the hazards that can lurk inside our four walls. To keep your cat or dog as safe as possible it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers around your home, here are some tips on how to pet-proof your home:

  • Keep your curtains out of reach while your kitten finds its feet
  • Invest in baby gates to keep dogs out of certain rooms
  • Block up gaps behind and under kitchen appliances or cupboards
  • Make sure to screen off your fireplace
  • Keep any hazardous material, like medicines, in a secure cupboard
  • Look out for any loose wires that could be chewed by teething pets
  • Remove any fragile items like ornaments or vases for the time being
  • Keep things that could be chewed (books or children’s toys) out of reach
  • Keep any toxic food out of sight and reach

The home can be full of dangers for pets

Don’t disregard the garden

The garden can be just as hazardous for pets as your home, so taking steps to pet-proof your green can make things safer for your new family member. Here are some of the potential hazards that you might need to consider before letting your cat or dog run loose outside:

  • Cover or fence off any ponds or pools
  • Make sure flowers and plants are safe for pets
  • Remove any hazardous bulbs, flowers and plants
  • Keep poisonous materials (like slug pellets and antifreeze) out of reach
  • Make sure any fence or gates are secure to prevent escape
  • Check any hedges for holes or gaps, and block if necessary to prevent escape
  • Check any manholes to make sure they’re safe and secure
  • Provide shady spots for sunny days

Pet-proofing your house and garden will help keep your new pet safe at home so it’s definitely worth doing. You might have more to add to the list as you learn about your cat and dog, and their mischievousness!

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