After several months of thinking, research and long talks with other pet parents, you’ve finally decided that it’s time to expand your family with a new furry friend. But before you can visit a rescue centre, fall in love with your new dog or kitten and watch them sniff out their forever home, you need to ensure that your house is ready for its latest addition.
Whether you plan on adopting an energetic puppy or an older, mellow cat, here are a few tips to help you pet-proof your space before they make it their own.
How to prepare your house for a dog
Before settling into a routine with your new companion, you need to get through an adjustment period — which can require a lot of time and patience.
Here are some universal tips to help you prepare for a new dog:
Gather supplies : When you bring your new dog home, you’ll be busy entertaining them, learning their personality and making sure they don’t get into anything they shouldn’t. That’s why you should go shopping before they’re here. Here are some supplies to help you prepare for a dog:
- A lead, collar or harness and identification tag.
- Dog food and training treats plus water and food bowls.
- A comfy bed.
- Plenty of chew toys.
- A grooming kit.
Inspect your fence : If you have a fenced-in garden where Rover can run free, check your fence for gaps and holes to ensure he won’t be able to sneak out — before you let him off-lead.
Dog-proof your home and garage : No matter how many treats or bones you buy, your new dog will still go sniffing around — and if there’s something they shouldn’t get into, they’ll find it. Be sure to keep any cleaning supplies, medication, food and sharp objects out of reach and cover your rubbish bins. You may also need to hide wires, move any breakable knick-knacks and put your houseplants on a higher shelf.
Organise a vet visit : You may need some extra supplies or house modifications if your new dog has health concerns. Set an appointment now so you can get a check-up and routine vaccinations as soon as your new pal is settled in.
How To Prepare Your Home for a Cat
Here are a few tips to make your home cat-friendly before you introduce your newest family member.
Cat-proof your home : Preparing your home for a cat isn’t too different from getting ready for a dog. Place food, chemicals and medicines out of reach and cover up any loose cords. Some houseplants can also be poisonous for cats, so you may need to swap them out with safe alternatives. Look out for loose strings, thread and wires — these can cause serious issues when swallowed.
Get supplies : As soon as you bring a cat home, it will need food, water and a litter box. Take a trip to the shops beforehand, so you can spend as much time with your new kitty as possible once they arrive.
Buy toys and a scratching post : If your cat doesn’t have toys to play with, they might start scratching up your sofa, swatting at electrical cords and chewing on your rugs. Be sure to pick up a few toys for them to chase when they get the zoomies and get a scratching post so your furniture stays intact.
Pick a small, quiet room to be their new home : When you’re setting up your new supplies, keep them in one room. It takes time for kittens and mature cats to adjust to their new environment, so you should introduce them to one room at a time.
Tips for Any New Furry Friend
Whether you adopt a five-year-old German Shepherd or a tabby kitten that can fit in the palm of your hand, these tips can help you prepare your home for any new companion.
Install Indoor and Outdoor Security Cameras
In a perfect world, you’d be able to spend every free moment getting to know your pet, learning their routine and introducing them to your friends and family. But you can't keep an eye on Fido or Fluffy around the clock if you have kids, a job and a new fur baby to look after.
If you want to check in on your dog or cat from the office, kid's football game, or across the house, consider installing a few Ring Indoor and Outdoor Security Cameras. You can watch live footage of your cat chasing a toy mouse across the living room or your dog running circles around the back garden. And if you put a Security Camera in a room your new pet isn’t supposed to enter, you’ll get a Motion Alert. You can then check in and and use the two-way audio feature let them know they're in the wrong room.
As a new dog or cat owner, you may not want to imagine your new friend escaping the house. But some crafty pets can find a way to sneak out as soon as you turn your head. If they pass your Outdoor Security Camera or Video Doorbell, you’ll know exactly when they left by checking the Motion Alerts on your Ring app.
With a Ring Protect subscription, you’ll also be able to look through your video footage to see where your furry friend went and save a video to share with your neighbours. You may even capture the exact moment they return home — like Lilly the cat, who rang her parents’ Ring Video Doorbell after a four-day adventure around the neighbourhood. And you'll have plenty of content of your pets' antics to share with your friends, family and on social media like Bella's and Miso's humans did.
Our Final Tip: Get Excited!
Now that you and your home are prepared for a new dog or cat, the day has finally come to expand your family! Be prepared for a lifetime of snuggles, walks in the park, petting sessions — and fur that never seems to go away, no matter how many times you pull out the hoover.