Opening your home to a furry (or not so furry) friend is an exciting time. You are about to become part of the 90.5 million families in the United States with a pet that’s over 70% of all households!
The first thing to do is to create a safe space for your pet. Your home may be your sanctuary, but it might not be so for your new pet. There’s a treasure trove of potential hazards in your home from electrical cords to poisonous plants. Spend some time pet-proofing your home before your new arrival. This will help you steer clear of accidents and keep your pet safe and healthy.
In the event of an emergency, it will help to have a pet health insurance policy ready. Securing one is perhaps the most important thing you can do to prepare for your new pet. There are plenty of affordable and full-coverage plans available to choose from.
What to Keep in Mind When Pet-proofing Your House
Here’s where you need to put yourself in their paws, claws, or flippers. You may not see anything dangerous, but your new pet might. Here are three things to consider when pet-proofing your home:
1. Explore the House From Your Pet’s Vantage Point
Get down on all fours to the level of your pet and look around your home from your pet’s perspective. Doing this will help you spot potential hazards you may otherwise miss.
2. Keep an Eye Out for Small Spaces
Pets can squeeze into small spaces that you would never think possible. Be on the lookout for any holes or openings your pet could squeeze through.
3. Identify the Area Your Pet Will Be Spending the Most Time In
This area is where you will want to focus your pet-proofing efforts. Your new pet will likely spend most of its time in this area, so it’s vital that you make it as safe as possible.
Five Ways to Prepare Your Home for a New Pet
In addition to having a pet health insurance policy and pet-proofing your home, here are five more things to do to get ready for your new pet:
1. Set Up a Space for Your Pet
All your home’s strange new sights, sounds, and smells can be overwhelming for a new pet. Give them a safe place to call their own where they can feel safe and comfortable. It could be a crate, a bed, or simply a designated spot in your home.
While you do this, try to identify the areas in your home that are off-limits to your pet too. Doing this will help prevent accidents and unwanted behavior from happening in the future. The sooner you can set up rules and boundaries, the better.
Here are two tips on how to choose the perfect spot for your pet’s space:
- Always prioritize their safety
The area that you choose should be safe for your pet. It should be free from any potential hazards and possible escape routes.
- Think about the location
Choose a spot in your house where they can have some peace and quiet. Avoid areas that are too close to busy roads or have a lot of foot traffic.
2. Invest in Essential Supplies
Dishes, collars, leashes, toys, beds, and food there are a lot you will need to get for your new pet. Try to have all the essentials ready before they come home so they can settle in as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Here’s a quick checklist of what you will need:
- A collar and ID tag
- A harness and leash
- Food and water bowls
- Pet food
- A bed or crate
- Litter box and litter (if you’re getting a cat)
Of course, these are just the basics. You may find that you need to get more things as time progresses. The best way to figure out what your pet will need is to talk to your veterinarian or a local pet store. They can give you specific advice based on your pet’s needs.
3. Keep Toxic Plants Away From Your Pet
You’ll soon find that your pet likes to put everything in its mouth. This includes plants that can be dangerous if they’re toxic. So, before you bring your pet home, research which plants are safe for them and which ones to avoid.
Here are some houseplants that are poisonous to pets:
- English Ivy
- Jade Plant
- Sago Palm
- Aloe Vera
- Snake Plant
This list of poisonous plants is by no means exhaustive, so be sure to do your own research. If you’re not sure whether your houseplants are safe for your pet, it’s always better to stay on the side of caution and put them out of reach. Also Read – How To Keep Flies Away
4. Secure Doors, Windows, and Fence Gates
Pets are curious creatures, and they will want to explore every nook and cranny of your home. Unfortunately, this can often lead them outside where they can get lost or hurt. So, it’s essential to ensure that all doors, windows, and fence gates are securely fastened before bringing your pet home.
This means checking that screens are properly installed and that latches are working correctly. If you decide to give them a bit of freedom to roam around the house, then baby gates can be a helpful way to create boundaries.
You may also want to consider getting a pet door installed. This will give your pet the freedom to come and go as they please while keeping the rest of your home secure. But be sure to install one that is just the right size for your pet. Any bigger and it could be an invitation for burglars. Any smaller and your pet could get stuck.
If you let them roam in the yard, ensure that it is well-secured too. This means checking the fence for any holes or gaps and fixing them if necessary. And as much as possible, never leave them unsupervised in the yard.
5. Change the Air Filters in Your HVAC System
If you have allergies, you know how crucial it is to have clean air filters in your home. But did you know these filters can also help reduce pet dander in the air?
It is recommended that you change your air filters at least twice a year. However, you may need to do it more often if you have a pet. This is because pet dander can quickly build up on the filter and reduce its efficiency.
Consider investing in a higher-quality air purifier to help reduce the amount of pet dander in your home. It will be more efficient in removing any airborne particles and making the air safer for everyone to breathe including your new pet.
Keep Your New Pet Happy and Safe
Bringing a new feline or canine companion into your home is an exciting time. But it’s essential to take some time to prepare your home first. With the five tips listed above, you can rest easy in knowing they will have everything they need to be happy and healthy. And, in no time, they will feel right at home.
And if they do have an accident or get sick, take the financial stress out of it by having a pet health insurance policy ready. With a provider that you can trust and a policy that fits your needs, there’s no reason not to be prepared. Should the worst happen, you’ll have the financial resources you need to give them the best possible care.