Moving is an exciting event and for many families, a big move can also introduce another exciting addition to their lives: a new pet. With that new family member comes a lot of responsibility and it’s important to get your new home ready for them before bringing them home.
Follow these easy tips on preparing your home for pets for a smooth transition.
Tips for Preparing Your Home for Pets
Check on pet policies
Some neighborhoods and apartment/condominiums have pet policies, including restrictions like weight, breeds, types of animals, and other rules regarding pets. It’s best to get all the information ahead of time before adopting a pet. This is especially important if you are renting, as many landlords have strict pet policies and some won’t even allow them at all. Get everything in writing before making a decision.
Click here for tips on renting with pets.
Put together a shopping list
Before bringing your new family member home, put together a shopping list of everything you will need to make them comfortable and then, go shopping. This includes things like:
- Bowls or dispensers for food and water
- Collar, harness and leash
- Collar-attach ID tag with the pet’s name, your phone number and your address
- Food and treats
- Toys suitable for your pet’s size and chewing power, and a scratching post for a cat
- Pet bed
- Size-appropriate crate and puppy pads (if you are getting a dog)
- Litter box and litter (if you are getting a cat)
- Carrier (for small pets)
- Pet-specific cleaners
- Grooming supplies
- Baby gates if you need to confine your pet to certain areas of the home
Research local veterinarians
Your new pet will need to see a veterinarian right away to establish a relationship with them and to get necessary shots and vaccines, as well as to be spayed or neutered (if not already). If you don’t already have one in mind, do your research before choosing one. Look up reviews, ask for recommendations, and meet with them in person. You can also find out what to expect to invest on the medical side if you are new to owning a pet and are working within a budget.
Establish a routine/schedule
Adding a pet to the family can be disruptive to your regular routine at first. It’s important that you establish a new one both for your sake and for the pet’s. Put together a schedule for things like feeding, walking, potty breaks, napping, and play/exercise. Also, be sure to make time for vet appointments, as there are typically more in the beginning if you are adopting a puppy or kitten, and training classes if you want to go that route.
Prepare the space
Figure out where your pet will and won’t be allowed to wander in the home in the beginning, such as when you get a puppy who isn’t housebroken yet. Put up baby gates to close off certain areas and make sure their crate is somewhere comfortable but secluded. Cover any furniture you want to protect and don’t want fur sticking to, and put away small objects that your new family member could pick up and chew on or swallow. Lay down puppy pads, offer easy access to toys and scratching posts, and make sure water is available at all times.