How exciting it is to bring home your brand new little one. You must be anticipating all of the little meows or barks, the pitter-patter of paws across the living room floor, and the sweet moments of getting to know your new pet companion. Your friends at Wheaton agree…This time is one of the very best. 

But there is a lot to think about when it comes to a newly adopted pet. Your home, especially if it has been fur-free, is probably not entirely pet-proof. What is pet-proofing the home, you may ask? We are here to help you out!

First Things First: What You Need

Before bringing your pet home, you will need to prep for their needs. Here is a basic list of things for your adopted pet:

  • Food
  • Treats
  • Water and food bowls
  • Bed
  • Toys
  • Litter box and litter or waste bags
  • Leash and collar with your name and contact information
  • Carrier
  • Crate
  • Blankets
  • Grooming supplies
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste for dogs or cats
  • Scratch post or tree for kitties

Do a Clean Sweep

Now that you have your pet’s accoutrements together, have you considered home safety? Much like a toddler, pets like to explore and get into things. Make sure to get rid of anything your pet may be tempted to ingest (you would be amazed by how many weird things they’ll go for).

For this reason, you need to pet-proof your home. First, decide if there are areas that will be off-limits to your furball. This may include the office, garage, or other areas that have items that aren’t pet-friendly. Child gates are great additions to the home, should you want to block off some places from your pet.

Now, take a look at low lying items. For new kitties, this will include higher places like shelves and counters, since cats obviously love to climb. Remove anything that might pose a choking risk or other hazard.

Look for:

  • Small things that can be eaten
  • Household cleaners
  • Toilet bowl cleaners
  • Household medications
  • Loose window screens (escape risk)
  • Rodenticides or pesticides (or mouse traps)
  • Breakables

Basically, treat your pet like a toddler and, when in doubt; remove, remove, remove! Install locks on cabinets containing toxic cleaners, etc.

Get to Know Your Plants

If you have a green thumb and enjoy plants, be sure to replace any plant that is toxic to pets.

Some of the following are hazardous:

  • Lilies (very toxic to cats)
  • Sago palm
  • Pathos
  • Oleander
  • Chrysanthemum
  • English Ivy
  • Tulip
  • Yew

For a complete list, consult the ASPCA’s toxic plants website.

Your Newly Adopted Pet

You are so excited for you as you bring home your newly adopted pet. What a great time it will be with all of the snuggles and playtime, but also a time of adjustment as your little one gets use to their new home. Patience and housetraining are essential.

If you have any questions about pet safety or would like to schedule an appointment for their first ever wellness exam, please call the Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital