Welcoming a new pet into your home isn’t just about giving them a grand tour. It’s about preparing your home for their arrival, so that your new pet understands where the designated areas are for eating, sleeping, and of course… going to the toilet. Especially if you’re planning on bringing home a puppy or kitten, the more prep you can do beforehand, the better.
That’s why we’ve put together a checklist you can use when you are preparing your home for the arrival of a new cat or dog. This will help you train your pet in the long run, avoid any messy incidents and teach them good habits early on.
Clean up the house
First and foremost, make sure your house is as tidy as possible. Any mess you leave out is likely to get rummaged through by a cat or dog, as they are exploring their new surroundings. Dirty plates, unwashed clothes and overflowing bins are ideal targets for a hungry pet, teaching them bad habits early on and even putting them in danger if they eat something that is potentially poisonous.
Set up a sleeping area for them
As soon as they walk through the door, you need your new pet to associate a certain area of the house with sleeping and relaxation. Whether this is in the lounge, the kitchen, or even your bedroom, is completely up to you and dependent on the layout of your home. The main thing is to make them as comfortable as possible, so make sure they have a bed or cage that is well-padded, and perhaps has a few toys thrown in for good measure.
Set up an eating area for them
Similarly, you need to make sure your new pet has an area for eating, which will further add to their new routine and allow them to learn about their new surroundings faster. This should include a sealed container for their food, as well as separate water and food bowls. If you aren’t sure what food is right for your pet, check out our product pages for Dog food and Cat food.
Remove dangerous items from the floor
Your new dog or cat will be keen to explore their habitat, and will often do so by licking, pawing or chewing everything in sight. The most dangerous item, aside from glass picture frames, plants and fragile furnishings, is an electrical cable, that can be easily chewed through. Think about moving or getting rid of anything potentially poisonous, hazardous or anything that could hurt your pet.
This isn’t necessary for every household, but if you want your new pet to only inhabit certain rooms in the house, then installing baby gates is a great idea. It’s all personal preference as some owners don’t mind a dog jumping on their couch and bed, and some do. Just be warned that with more cunning dogs and cats, they may be able to jump over, or find a way through when left on their own!
Check your garden is safe
Depending on the size and shape of your garden, you need to make sure that your pet (normally a dog) can’t make a daring escape! This includes gaps under fences, garden gates being high enough and any railings being secure enough to stop your pet from forcing their way through. Read more about dog-proofing your garden here.
Once your house is pet-proofed, it’s time to start thinking about how to keep them healthy and strong. Check out our individual pet food product pages, or head to our Ingredients and FAQ pages for more information on what you should be feeding your new pet.