Caitlin UltimoPet Lovers / Pet Parenting

Pet-Proofing 101: Prepare Your Home for a New Pet

Bringing a new pet into your home can be excitingand a bit of a nerve-wracking experience. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to make sure you’ve prepared your home to be your pet’s home as well. Before you start enjoying time with your pet, you’ll want to pet-proof your house or apartment to ensure his safety in this new environment.

Some precautions are suggested for your own sanity; for instance, put away any family heirlooms that could be destroyed by a dog who chews or knocked over by a curious cat. Yes, even the stuff on the high shelves—those items are just begging for a kitty visitation.

Cover any upholstered furniture that’s precious to you—at least until you’re familiar with your pet’s habits in your home. Consider employing some preventative measures to keep dogs or cats off of or away from certain items, such as delicious shoes and cords. Install doggie doors or dog gates to keep your pet in or out of areas where she is allowed. You might also consider acquiring a pet containment system to limit your pet’s roaming range outside your home.

Securely store any foods, cleaners or medicines your pet might be tempted to eat, as these could be poisonous. The following foods can be dangerous for certain pets to consume:

• Alcohol
• Avocado
• Chocolate, coffee and caffeine in general
• Citrus
• Grapes and raisins
• Macadamia and other nuts
• Milk and dairy
• Onions, garlic and chives
• Raw/undercooked meat, eggs and bones
• Salt and salty snack foods
•  Xylitol (a sweetener that can be found in gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste)
•  Yeast dough

Here’s a quick checklist of some basic needs to make your new pet comfy on her first day:

• Food and water bowls
• Toys
• Treats
Dog bed, pen and/or other furniture
• Collar and/or leash
• Litter and litter box or doggy pee pads
• Brush
• Medicine, if your pet requires it
• Flea medication

The only other thing your new pet will need is some patience from you as she gets used to her new family!

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