Whether you’re preparing for a new dog, cat, puppy, or kitten, the number one question you have to answer when bringing a new pet into your life is: Are YOU ready for your pet? From pet proofing your home to finding the perfect vet, there’s lots to do before your new pet pitter-patters through the front door. Read our handy guide on how to prepare for a pet so you can welcome your new furry friend into your home without a worry.

Pet Readiness Checklist

To help you make the transition from the pet-free lifestyle to pet parenthood easier, let’s start off with a checklist of nine pet essentials that will definitely come in handy once your companion has arrived:

New Bounce Pet Hair & Lint Guard dryer sheets to repel pet hair and keep your clothing shed free. Also available in unscented variety

Easy-to-access fanny pack for yummy treats to reward good pet behavior

Dog gates for your pet’s safety and to secure off-limits areas in your home.

“Pet Proofed” home: Double check pets don’t have access to wires and make sure all plants are pet-friendly

Swiffer Heavy Duty Pet refills to tackle pet messes on hard-surface floors

Pet odor neutralizer to eliminate odors when accidents happen

“My Pet Is Home Alone” keychain for emergencies

Pet Poison Hotline: Program the hotline number into your phone in case your furry friend gets into something they shouldn’t, like chocolate or grapes

Stickers from your alarm company or vet to indicate the number of pets inside your home in case of an emergency

Want to save this list for posterity? You can download it by clicking here.

Things to Consider Before Adopting or Getting a Pet

As any pet parent will tell you, getting a pet and preparing your home for their arrival is something you should take seriously. There are several things to consider before welcoming your new pet into your home:

  • A pet is a long-term commitment. On average, dogs and cats have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. Be ready to commit your time, energy, love, and attention to them and enjoy a lifetime of unconditional love.

  • Be sure to budget for the costs for your pet. From food, accessories, and toys to grooming and veterinary visits, there are various pet-related expenses of which you should be aware.

  • Consider your lifestyle. Pets are social creatures, and they like to be with their humans as much as possible. If you have a busy social life, work long hours, or tend to travel a lot, you may need to make some lifestyle adjustments, or think about alternatives, like use of dog walkers, or cat or doggy daycare. These should influence the type of pet you bring into your life. Note that there are growing numbers of pet-friendly environments including hotels, restaurants, and vacation spots.

  • Research is a must. If you don’t yet have your heart set on a certain breed, it’s important to research breeds to see which might be the right fit for you. For example, some breeds require much more exercise than others and yearn to run outdoors, while others are better suited to the pampered-pooch lifestyle offered by your warm and comfy couch. Mixed breeds are fantastic pets offering a variety of advantages. Children and other pets in the home are factors to be considered. You should ask an animal shelter counselor, vet, or a breeder for their expert advice on selecting the best match. They can also tell you about best practices for grooming, nutrition, and training for the breed you are considering.

  • Allergies. Some people are allergic to pet dander and this should be considered prior to bringing a pet home. There are options that can be evaluated with experts.

  • Getting a vet. Finding a vet you trust is important to ensure your four-legged friend has a long and healthy life. It’s also worth finding out the location of your nearest animal hospital as your vet may not always be available. Consider pet health insurance for peace of mind when it comes to managing health care costs.

  • Spay or neuter your pet. It’s important to be a responsible pet parent.

  • Save lives by adopting a pet. When you adopt a pet you are saving two lives – the one you bring home and the one who can be saved in his or her place at the animal shelter.

  • Picture your life with new meaning, purpose, and love. The human-animal bond is powerful and pets enrich our lives. Studies show that pets positively impact our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

Preparing Your Home for a Puppy or Kitten

You’re almost all set to become the best pet parent you can be with only a few more specific steps remaining until your home is 100% dog or cat friendly. Here are 6 rules for getting your home ready for a pet:

  1. Check if any of the plants in your home are poisonous to pets and remove them or place them out of reach.

  2. To prevent your pets from getting their fur all over your furniture, make sure to provide them with attractive alternatives by having a cozy bed.

  3. Keep your pets from creating chewing damage by giving them toys, bones, and scratching posts made especially for gnawing and scratching purposes. There are a number of deterrents to discourage felines from scratching furniture such as putting double-sided sticky tape or upside-down carpet runners down, and placing aluminum foil on furniture to name just a few.

  4. Invest time and effort into house training your new pet so that they’ll know (in time) where to go when nature calls. Consider putting away your more prized rugs until your dog or cat is fully house-trained.

  5. Keep toxic household products in a locked cupboard or in high places where your pets can’t reach them. Remove or hide any wires or cables as puppies especially love to chew on these.

  6. Go over whether you have all the basic pet supplies you’ll need like a bed, food, toys, and water and food bowls. You might also need things like a collar or harness, leash, crate, and a pet carrier that you can take your fur-baby home in.

That’s it, you’re now officially pet-ready!

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