Before you bring home a new kitten or puppy, don’t forget to make your home safe
By Paula Felps
When Brenda Nuss was ready to hear the pitter-patter of little paws, she knew she needed to pet-proof her house for the new arrival.
“We already had a kennel, so we bought a new bed, food, and water bowls, a collar and a leash,” says Nuss, who lives in Sutton, Nebraska. “We also got a small Kong toy—and four books about raising a puppy!”
With her purchases made, Nuss was ready to bring home Humphrey, a Cocker Spaniel/Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix. As most new puppy or kitten owners will tell you, pet-proof preparation goes far beyond just buying supplies.
Look for pet hazards
Before your little one arrives, be sure to search for any potential pet hazards too. “We went through the house before we brought him home and made sure that all small items were picked up off the floor so Humphrey wouldn’t ingest them,” she says. “Puppies will chew on anything, so we made sure that everything—from shoes to rugs to drapes—were out of reach.”
All toxic household cleaners, insecticides, or antifreeze should also be moved out of reach.
Bringing your puppy or kitten home
Whether it’s a puppy or a kitten, bringing home a new pet means buying the appropriate toys and treats. This is an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming—so make sure you have a quiet place where your pet can sleep and become comfortable with the smells and sounds of the house.
Finally, before bringing your pet home, make sure you also check your houseplants —many can be dangerous to animals. (Ask your veterinarian for a complete list of toxic plants.)