Adopting a pet is an exciting adventure. Bringing home an adorable dog or cat inevitably brings joy to you and your new companion. Making the choice to adopt may seem easy, however, there is a lot to consider before finally being able to bring your pet home. Here are some tips for preparing your home for the big day!
Find a Space To Call Their Own
The first step to preparing for a new pet is to make sure you have a designated area just for your new family member. Cats and dogs love time with their families, but they will need their own space to go when they need some quiet time to themselves. This is especially true during the transition period when you first bring your pet home. Identify a quiet area of your home that a pet can feel safe and that they can claim as their own. Look for a room that is not always occupied like a spare bedroom or laundry room. A quiet space will keep your pet from feeling anxious and overwhelmed in their new environment. Before you bring your pet home, place a crate in this area and line it with a blanket and some toys. This will give your pet a comfortable place to lay down and start a positive relationship with their crate. After you have the crate set up, you want to make sure you clear the room of anything hazardous that your curious furry friend can get into. Look for things like household cleaning products, crafting materials, and home improvement supplies. Once the space is ready for your pet you can begin filling it with items to make them feel cozy and comfortable.
Pet Proof Main Areas of Your Home
Once you have identified your pet's personal space you can move on to overview other areas of your home to ensure your pet’s safety in those rooms too. Kitchens are going to be full of all new smells and tons of spaces to get into and explore. Make sure low cabinets and drawers containing chemicals like dishwasher detergent or scouring pads have locks or latches to keep curious noses out of harm's way. You should also do the same for cabinets containing foods that can be toxic to your pet; or at least make sure those foods are stored higher up on counters. If you are still concerned about your new pet getting into trouble in the kitchen you can always invest in baby gates or playpens to keep them out of the room until they are ready.
Moving to the living room, look for small items a pet might accidentally ingest while playing. If you have children at home, small toys are notorious for being swallowed by pets, particularly in their infant stage. To keep those pet hazards and toys out of the way, buy baskets and boxes that can corral these items in a safe place. If you are also a houseplant parent, do some research to check and make sure none of your plants are toxic to your pets. Popular plants like the Peace lily and Monstera deliciosa are highly toxic to cats, while Jade and ZZ plants are toxic to dogs. For your furniture, invest in some cheap washable throw blankets and drape them on couches and chairs. This will protect your couches, chairs, and other pieces from shedding and also help in the case of any accidents. Blankets can also help deter scratching and chewing on cushions and pillows.
Finally, go for a walk in either your yard or complex to get an idea of where your pet will be playing outside. If you have fencing look for any gaps in the wall where a pet could squeeze underneath or get their coat snagged on the materials. If you have a pool or firepit, look into getting covers or barriers to make it more difficult to enter these areas if your pet goes outside unsupervised. Just like houseplants, there are hazardous plants outside in your yard that could cause harm to your pet. Flowers like hydrangeas, tulips, and daffodils are toxic to both cats and dogs. Additionally, if you have a garden, avoid growing foods like onions and garlic so they aren’t accidentally ingested by your pet. Lastly, if you can, locate an area of your yard and create a shaded area to keep your pets cool in the warmer months. You can plant a tree, purchase a doghouse, or build a fun catio for your pet to go in and out of to help them regulate their body temperature.
After taking the time to do a thorough walkthrough of your home and making adjustments to the spaces you should feel more comfortable and excited to bring your new furry friend home.
Budgeting For The Necessities
Adopting a pet comes with all new responsibilities and creating a budget can help you make sure your household is financially ready for a new addition to your family. Make a list of supplies you will need within the first two weeks of bringing home your new cat or dog. This list should include essentials like a bed, food, and harness just to name a few things. You will want to set some extra money aside for the early days as it will take time to figure out your pet’s personality and preferences. This means you may have to spend more money as you experiment with what your pet likes and needs. You can read our article on the best food bowls for your dog and also learn about hypoallergenic bedding for your pet if you don’t know where to start!
After you have your initial budget set, you can then start to plan out month-to-month expenses. Plan for a food budget, grooming supplies, and daycare if your pet is too young to be left home alone. Daycare for your pet can be a little pricey, but it is important to have your pet socialize with other animals, especially if you have decided to adopt a puppy. If you decide to put your pet in daycare you’re going to need to take them to the vet for an initial check-up. Besides the need for one before enrolling in daycare, vet visits are going to be a normal and important part of your pet’s life. Take some extra time to research vets in your area and ask yourself “is pet insurance a good idea?” Pet insurance can offer you the peace of mind that no matter what happens, your pet can get the best care without putting a financial strain on your budget. Budgeting is always important for financial wellness and by creating a plan you can be sure you have money for adventures, emergencies, and everything in between.
And just like that, your home is now pet ready! A lot goes through your mind on that very first day home, but you can be sure that you made the best effort to prepare your home for your new furry best friend. There will be many new experiences full of love and fun, and Earth Doggy can be there for you every step of the way. Whether you need a new leash, yummy treats, or tips from our blog, you can always count on us to help you and your pet live your best lives together.