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Preparing Your Home for Pets
|3 Questions to Consider Before You Get a Pet|
Have you been thinking about getting a pet? Pets offer unconditional love and add joy to our lives, but they are a significant responsibility. Before you get a pet, ask yourself these questions:
Do I Have Time for a Pet?
No matter how much you love animals, getting a pet is not a good idea if you are rarely home. Pets need human companionship -- and regular bathroom breaks. If you do not have time for a pet, but want to indulge your love of animals, consider volunteering at an animal shelter. You'll get all the benefits of interacting with pets without the responsibility.
Are My Children Old Enough for a Pet?
Most young children love pets, but aren't always gentle with them. Those love taps can hurt an animal or even cause it to bite or scratch your child if it feels threatened. If you won't be able to provide constant supervision for your child and pet, wait a few years until he or she is a little older.
Can I Afford a Pet?
Caring for a pet isn't cheap. In addition to food, supplies and toys, you'll also need to budget for yearly veterinary care. Plan for at least one well exam per year when your pet is young and at least two exams as your pet gets older. Pet insurance can help you manage the costs of accidents, illnesses, teeth cleaning and surgeries, particularly if you purchase it soon after you bring your pet home.
Walking through the front door with a new pet is an exciting moment. Unfortunately, if you are not prepared, the situation can become stressful and even dangerous for your pet in a matter of minutes. Make sure you take care of these essentials before you pick up your new furry friend.
Pet Proof Your House or Apartment
Get down on your pet's level and take a good look at your home. You will probably spot a few potential hazards that you might never have noticed from your vantage point. Before you open that carrier or take off that leash, make sure you:
- Move cleaning supplies and medications out of your pet's reach. If you cannot move them, invest in child-safe latches for your kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
- Find a safe place for thread, yarn and other craft supplies that curious pets may mistake for a snack.
- Block small spaces to avoid a middle-of-the-night rescue for your new puppy or kitten. That space between the oven and kitchen cabinet may seem like the perfect hiding spot for a new pet. Unfortunately, your furry friend may discover that it's easier to get into these spots than out of them.
- Remove shoes, clothing and other items that can become chew toys. Put electrical and phone cords out of your pet's reach or place them in a cord protector.
- Shorten cords from mini blinds, as dangling cords can become a choking hazard.
- Keep houseplants out of the reach of pets. Not only will pets make a mess if they knock over a plant, but they may become sick if they eat a poisonous plant.
Buy All the Essentials
Make sure you have everything your pet needs before his or her homecoming. Stock up on these pet care essentials:
- Leash or harness
- Litterbox and litter
- Scratching post
- Cage and bedding (if you're bringing home a small animal)
- Nail clippers
- Food and water bowls
- Pet bed
- Pet shampoo
Some Things to Think About
If you're bringing home a cat or kitten, consider purchasing multiple litter boxes. Place them on several floors of your home or in several rooms. It may take a little while for your cat to learn the floor plan of your home. Using multiple litter boxes can help prevent accidents.
Dogs, even previously housetrained dogs, can have accidents when adjusting to a new home. In addition to taking your pet outdoors regularly, prepare for the possibility of an accident by placing a wee-wee pad next to the door, just in case you don't wake up as early as your dog would like. Keep enzymatic cleaner on hand to clean up any messes that do occur. Enzymatic cleaner breaks down stains and neutralizes the smell of urine. If you don't remove the odor from the area, your pet may be drawn to that spot in the future and decide it's a perfectly fine place to urinate.
Do you have a new pet? Why not call us today and schedule an appointment for its first exam and shots, if needed.