The decision to adopt a pet is not one that is made lightly. You must first consider what type of animal you are keen to bring home, then decide on breed, age, approximate size, gender, how many pets you plan to adopt, and so on. Younger pets will require a lot of time and attention whereas older ones may be content to nap all day while you’re at work. Male pets may spray while females are often prone to fighting. And besides all the hallmarks attendant to particular breeds, each animal is going to have its own unique personality to contend with, which may affect not only how they fit into your household, but also their ultimate trainability. It can be a lot to think about, but do not get so caught up in considering which pet to take home that you neglect to prepare your house to receive the animal that is destined to be a long-term companion. Here are a few ways to make sure that transitioning a new animal into your home goes as smoothly as possible for all involved.
- Get on their level. Much like preparing a home for the imminent arrival of a baby, you must be aware of what is on the level of a much shorter individual. Like babies, pets are curious and they will almost certainly check out everything within reach. For that reason, you should remove (or make inaccessible) anything harmful that they could potentially ingest, damage, or hurt themselves on.
- Secure harmful items. Once you have identified items that could harm your pet, they must be secured. For example, many pets can use snouts, paws, and so forth to open cabinet doors, so those that contain food, trash, cleaning products, etc. should be secured with child locks to keep your pets out. As for those items that your pets might be tempted to chew or mark as their territory (anything from books to shoes to your Playstation), you may want to move those off the floor and higher up or put them in a cabinet or closet.
- Consider bumpers. While pets tend to be less wobbly than infants, you may still want to think about whether or not your furniture could cause them undue harm. Coffee tables with sharp edges and spindly chairs or side tables are almost begging to be bumped into and knocked over, ultimately bruising your new best friend. So if you’re not willing to replace them with pet-friendly alternatives, at least add bumpers or secure them in some fashion to protect the hide of your furry friend.
- Don’t forget the outlets. Outlet covers are an absolute necessity! Curious pets don’t know any better than to stick paws, noses, and tongues into inviting holes in the wall, so spend a few bucks on plastic covers to pop in so you don’t end up with any crispy critters.
- Work from the ground up. Now that you’ve done all you can to make the ground level safe for your new pet, let your eyes drift upward. Plenty of animals will climb or simply bump into furniture, so try to determine if they might knock over books, knick-knacks, or electronics in the course of their exploration or play. Smaller items can be moved away from edges while heavier electronics can be secured to the wall with straps. This will guarantee that your fluffy friend avoids death from above.
Kathleen Macky is a writer for Tampa Homes 24-7, which specializes in Riverview Real Estate.