11-Point Checklist for Prepping Your Home for a First Pet
So you have decided that you are ready to welcome a pet into your home for the first time. Congratulations! Approximately 85 million American families have at least one pet, making it a rite of passage for most households. Many pet adoption centers require a home visit before adoption can take place, so you should ask yourself these questions and see this Check list to make sure you and your home are ready. Depending on whether you are adopting a playful puppy or a perfect cat, there are different ways to prepare your home. Check out Freshome.com’s 11-point checklist to find out what you can do to prepare for any pet. We also have specifications for cats and dogs.
1. Make your home pet-proof
Animals are naturally curious and like to get into different things. You should invest in sealable garbage cans and pet food containers to help keep pets out. Blind cords should be tied higher to prevent tangling, and electrical cords should be hidden or moved, as puppies and kittens like to chew on them while they go through the teething phase.
2. Reconsider indoor plants
Indoor plants attract pets because they mimic the outdoors, but they can pose an extreme health risk. More than 700 plants they are toxic to cats and dogs if ingested. Take the time to research whether your current plants could be harmful to a new pet and switch to plants that are safe. Consider relocating your plants so they are out of the reach of your pets. If you want your home to be pet-friendly but don’t want to sacrifice the beauty that indoor plants bring, you can also try finding pet friendly plants. While many common houseplants are toxic to cats and dogs, here are a few that can chew all day without incident:
- Air plant
- Christmas cactus
- Some ferns, including the Boston fern and the maidenhair fern
- Friendship plant
- Polka dot plant
- Spider plant
- Some succulents, including echeveria, haworthia, and chickens and chicks.
- Money tree
- Living room palm
- Some herbs including basil, thyme, and sage.
3. Set the pet space
To help your dog or cat feel comfortable in their new home, create a space that is completely yours. Get a bed for your pet and consider investing in a crate if you are adopting a dog. Dogs can learn from proper training, that the box is a safe space for them. Cage training also helps you by having a safe place for your dog when you are not at home. For a cat or dog, make sure the area is fully prepared before bringing the animal home.
4. Buy some toys
Both cats and dogs often enjoy playing with a variety of pet toys. You can buy balls or chew toys for a puppy, or rope toys and a scratching post for a cat. Pets explore with their mouths, especially puppies and kittens, so make sure anything you buy can be bitten, licked, or chewed. Get a couple of basic toys to see what your pet likes before buying more.
5. Stock up on supplies
You will need basic pet supplies to get started, including food, plates, collars, and treats. Cats also need a litter box and litter box, and you should get a leash and garbage bags for a dog. Once the pet is home and named, don’t forget to get an identification tag in case your pet gets lost. Approximately 6.5 million pets They end up in shelters every year, so make sure your ID tag includes the pet’s name, address, and a contact number so people can reach you to bring your furry friend home. Consider purchasing training pads or pet sprays and cleaning supplies, such as spot removers, if you plan to train in the house or box. As you prepare to become a pet owner, you should seek out a vet to care for your new furry friend and learn about microchips to help keep your pet safe.
6. Secure your home and garden
Make sure doors and windows are closed properly to minimize the chance of your pets straying from your home. Cats like to climb open curtains and screens too, so do some research on cat proof items can add to your home. If your dog will have access to the yard during the day, make sure the fence is in good condition and completely secure. You can also invest in a pet door, either directly installed in a door or wall or in a panel which can be added to a sliding door, to make it easier for dogs to go outside while you are away.
7. Plan the play areas
Animals love to play, so it is important to create areas for it. You can set up a dog park in your yard to allow your pup to run around without having access to the entire yard. Cats are climbers, so buy a cat condo or climbing rack to give your cat room to roam.
8. Create ground rules for the family
Before bringing a pet home, make sure everyone in your family is on the same page. Create rules about where pets can and cannot go, if they are allowed on furniture, and where they should sleep. It’s also important to develop a to-do list so that everyone is responsible for caring for and caring for the new cat or dog.
9. Change your air filters
Animals typically lose pet hair and dander in your home, even after proper care. Before bringing your new pet home, change the air filters in your HVAC system to make sure they are clean and ready to run smoothly. While households without pets should change their filters every six months or so, you should plan to change your filter every 1 to 3 months after you bring your pets home.
10. Protect outdoor HVAC units
This is particularly important if you are bringing a dog home for the first time. Dogs mark their territory and urine can corrode the unit or enter the system, making your home smell unpleasant when the air is running. Your dog could also be a digger and potentially damage the system if he scratches or breaks something. Consider adding a barrier that prevents the dog from reaching the unit but still allows easy access for the technician’s work.
11. Invest in an air purifier
If you are still concerned about pet hair and dander in your home, invest in air purifier designed specifically for households with pets. Air purifiers also help if someone in your home suffers from pet allergies. Follow these simple steps to prepare your home for your first pet.