Every pet parent remembers the day they brought their precious fur baby home for the very first time. There’s nothing quite like introducing your little one to their new house and family, nothing like watching them explore their surroundings and settling into their new home.
But, as eager as you may be for that day to arrive, when you’re getting a new pet, there are some important things you need to do first to prepare your home for the new arrival.
When you decide to bring a pet into your heart and home, you’re not only taking on a heaping bundle of love and joy. You’re also taking on a profound responsibility to do your utmost to ensure the health and safety of your fur child.
That means that the first order of business in getting your house ready for a pet will be to do a careful sweep of your home, inside and out, to identify and address any potential hazards your little one might encounter.
For example, odds are your new pet will spend at least some time outdoors each day. To keep them safe, you’ll want to check for any potentially toxic substances that might be found in your yard. This includes not only toxic plants, but also other substances, including certain soils, fertilizers, and pesticides.
Vermiculite, for instance, is commonly used as a soil conditioner for outdoor gardens. However, the substance can pose a significant health risk for humans and animals alike due to the potential for exposure to cancer-causing asbestos.
Unfortunately, though, your yard isn’t the only space where potentially dangerous substances can be found. The inside of your home can be just as risky if you don’t know what to look out for.
Remember that pets can be amazingly clever when they set their minds to it, and that means that simply putting harmful substances on a high shelf may not be enough. Instead, it’s a good idea to go ahead and lock up the cleaning solutions, medications, or foods that may be toxic to your pet. Even something as seemingly innocent as sugar-free gum can be lethal for your dog.
In addition to safeguarding against accidental poisoning, you’ll also want to look out for potential fall, choking, or shock hazards. If you’re preparing to bring a small puppy into the house, for instance, you’ll want to ensure they won’t have access to high surfaces from which they could fall and be injured. You’ll also want to put away toys with small parts, as these can be a significant choking hazard. Electrical cords must also be put away, particularly if your little one is a chewer.
Setting Up Your Space
Experienced pet parents know that welcoming a fur child into your home means that you might have to switch up your decorating aesthetic a bit. That high-end, all-white, velvet sofa, for instance, might not be such a great idea, especially if you are looking forward to snuggle time on the couch with your little one.
Instead, invest in pet-friendly furniture that allows your little one to feel right at home without forcing you to sacrifice style. When you’re picking the best furnishings, consider features such as durability, cleaning, and color.
In addition to selecting the right furniture, you’ll also want to prepare spaces specifically for your new arrival. At the very least, your little one should already have her bed, toys, and feeding station ready when she comes. Ideally, this will be in a more secluded area of your home, so that your baby can have a quiet place to retreat to as she adjusts to her new digs.
While you’re setting up your pet’s space, you should also consider how you can prepare your environment for your new routine with your baby. Daily physical activity will not only be great for your pet, but it can also be a perfect way for you to manage your own stress.
But getting active with your new baby won’t be the fun and relaxing experience you want it to be if your pet can’t be safe in its environment.
So, if you’re planning for lots of outdoor playtime with your baby, consider investing in a secure fence so that your baby can frolic without fear. And if you’re planning to take a nightly walk around the block, do a sweep of your route first to ensure that there are no large dogs or other risks that you and your pet might encounter along the way. Then, trick out your pet with the gear they’ll need for their nightly walk. Harnesses tend to be more secure and comfortable than traditional collars, while sweaters and booties can help keep your little one safe in inclement weather.
There’s nothing better than bringing your fur baby home for the very first time. But to make the experience the best it can be for you and your pet, there are some important steps you need to take first to prepare your house for your precious new family member.