Preparing Your Home For A New Pet: Tips For First-Timers

  • 30/07/2017
housetraining-puppy.jpgBeing a first-time pet owner can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unprepared. Pets need lots of love and attention and it’s important to know all you can about the animal before you bring it home. However, they can also provide such joy and comfort in your life that you might wonder what you ever did without them.

Bringing home a pet requires quite a bit of preparation. Not only do you need to do some research on the breed and type of animal you want, you also have to get your house ready and make sure it’s in good shape. This process is akin to what happens before a couple brings home a new baby; you want to make sure there are no hazards and that your home will be a safe, loving environment for your new pet. 

Animals also require a lot of patience, especially in the beginning stages of your relationship. Big changes can upset some pets, and they may be distrustful of people, especially if they were rescued. Stay calm and prepare as much as possible before you bring your new animal home; here are some of the best tips on how to get started.

Do some homework

If you’re unsure of what sort of pet you want, it’s best to do some research and think hard about what type of animal would work best in your life. If you have a family with young children, you will, of course, want a pet that is comfortable around kids. If you have a busy schedule and won’t be home during the day to let out a dog, perhaps a cat would work better.

It’s also a good idea to take things like allergies into consideration and look at your home and yard to get a feel for how much space you have. Big dogs need a lot of room to move around, and they need lots of exercise, so if you live in an apartment or don’t have much free space, think about getting a smaller animal.

Check for dangers

Your home should be a welcoming, safe place for a pet. Walk around and look at things from an animal’s perspective; are there poisonous plants that might look like a fun thing to chew on? Loose cords that a cat might love to bat around? Holes in the yard that could cause a fall and injury? These are things that need to be considered if you’re bringing home a puppy or an elderly dog, as they are prone to chewing/suffering falls. It’s also a good idea to make sure there are no slippery floors in your home; make sure throw rugs are well-tacked down to the floor, as they can be a trip hazard. Fix any problems well before you bring your pet home so you can rest assured that there won’t be any problems; for more on how to puppy-proof your home, head to’s helpful guide.

Keep it low-key

When you bring your new pet home, make sure to keep things low-key. You might have friends and family who want to meet him, but if he’s nervous around new people--as many rescue dogs are--it might be better to only have immediate family in the room when he arrives. Let everyone know they should speak in soft voices and keep things calm so as not to startle your pet, and teach kids the proper way to handle him (don’t tug on his ears or tail, don’t approach him from behind, leave him alone when he’s eating). This can help you avoid a major issue down the road.

Remember that your new pet will need a lot of attention, especially during the first few weeks while you’re getting to know one another. Be prepared for lots of snuggles and playtime and help him feel loved and nurtured, and you’ll have a best friend for life.

Author: Jessica Brody (

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