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Cats, Dogs

How to Prepare for a New Pet in 2018

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

There are few things that elicit feelings of excitement like bringing home a new family member. As soon as the decision has been made to open your home to a pet, it’s easy to begin entertaining visions of cozy evenings snuggling together on the couch and crisp afternoons of playing together in the sun. Sounds great, right? What else could there be to plan for?

Keep those happy thoughts rolling, but as you and your family are reveling in your anticipation and joy, make sure to set aside some time to consider some of logistics involved in bringing home a new pet.

Preparing your home

Much like you would baby-proof your home before bringing home an infant, it’s important to consider what a safe environment looks like for your pet. Take care to remove (or make inaccessible) any harmful substances, including but not limited to:

  • Chemicals (cleaners, solvents, etc.)
  • Poisonous houseplants
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Food not meant for animal consumption

If you don’t already own one, now is a great time to invest in a trash can with a lid— bonus points if the lid locks, in the event that a curious pet decides to topple the trash can to do some investigating.

Define your pet’s space

It’s important to decide where your pet will be sleeping and eating before you bring them home, so they can acclimate to their new home right away. Put some thought into this. Take into account the flow of traffic through your house and think not only about where it might be most convenient for your family to place your pet’s various spaces, but also where it will be best for your pet. For example, although it might seem like a good idea to put your pet’s food and water bowls in the kitchen or dining room (so they can eat their dinner with you, of course!), are they more prone to being kicked or knocked over in these places? Would your pet prefer a quieter, more private place to eat?

Some of this will be trial and error as you get to know your pet and see how he or she interacts with other members of your family, but if you can start out with a solid game plan right away, the adjustments you’ll need to make down the road will be minor, leading to an easier adjustment period for everyone.

Stock up on pet supplies

This one might be a bit obvious, but it does warrant a quick mention. Before your pet comes home, it’s a good idea to have:

  • Food
  • Food and water containers
  • Comfortable pet bedding
  • A few toys (definitely do some research here- different breeds have different interests and needs)
  • Pet stain cleaner
  • Litter/litter box
  • Leashes and collars
  • Treats
  • Identification tags
  • Vitamins and supplements

Bringing home a new pet is a wonderful way to grow your family! Although the adjustment period may not be entirely blissful, taking a few moments to make these decisions ahead of time can cut down on potential chaos and make the transition easier on your pet and the rest of your family.


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