Preparing Your Home for a New Puppy or Kitten
Advanced Home Preparation & Planning
When bringing a new puppy or kitten home, a little preparation goes a long way. It only takes a little planning and forethought to make sure your home is ready for your furry bundle of joy.
Do Your Research
If you’ve never owned a dog or cat, especially a puppy or kitten, your first step is to gather information about how to care for your new pet. There are several books available on the topic as well as endless options on the Internet. Be sure you’re getting your information from a reputable source, such as websites for well-known pet food companies or pet welfare organizations. In addition, the veterinary assistants and technicians at your local veterinary clinic have a wealth of information about this. Don’t be shy—ask for advice.
Acquire appropriate bowls, foods, brushes, toys, blankets and any other necessary supplies. Potty pads for puppies and litterboxes for kittens are essential items. Pet gates (similar to baby gates) are useful for keeping young ones out of areas that may be dangerous for them. Large kennels or indoor pens are also great for keeping young puppies and kittens in a safe and secure area when no one’s available to supervise them.
Get down on the floor and look around your house. Seeing the room from your puppy’s or kitten’s point of view can help you determine potential trouble spots. Puppies and kittens love to explore tiny spaces, such as underneath or behind appliances and furniture. See if you can spot things that may look like toys to a young animal. Puppies and kittens can become entangled in and strangled by cords, ropes or strings. These items can also cause intestinal blockages if pieces are chewed off and swallowed.
Cords also pose an electrocution hazard if chewed. Any small item within reach can be chewed or swallowed by your new pet. Also, train your eye to see fragile items that could be knocked down, broken or fall on your pet. Remove as many hazards as possible and block access to areas that are unsafe.
Set Up a Private Area
It’s important to set up a secure area in advance for your new arrival. Make sure she has a soft bed and the area is free from drafts. A source of warmth is also a must. Food and water must be available at all times. Set up separate areas for sleeping, eating and going potty. Toys should be available to keep your puppy or kitten entertained. Keep your new pet indoors and away from other pets at first.
Now that everything is in place, it’s time to bring your new family member home.
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