Preparing Your Home for a New Friend

What general considerations should you address as you work to make your home ready to welcome your new pet? Here are some areas to focus on:

  • Potentially dangerous situations and substances. Are cleaning solutions or other chemicals readily accessible? Are there plants such as philodendrons that would be dangerous if your cat nibbled on them?
  • Temperature. Make sure your pet will have access to locations with proper temperature control.
  • Never leave him out in very hot or very cold weather, and always ensure adequate ventilation to keep him conformable.
  • Water safety. Do you have a pool, or do you live by a lake that your pet could wander into? Pets should never be unsupervised around water!
  • Yard safety. If you’ll allow your pet to play in the yard, do you have a fence to keep him or her safely contained? Make sure there are not hazards in the yard such as trashcans, wasp nests, or toxic plants.
  • Supplies and food, collars, leashes. Do you have all the items necessary for your pet to hit the ground running once she moves in?
  • Find a good vet. Before your pet comes home, work to find a good vet who you are comfortable with. This way, you can immediately get started with a check-up and vaccinations and address any other health needs your new pet may have.
  • Plan ahead for activity and companionship. Think about your pet’s companionship and activity needs and by whom and how they will be provided.