Welcoming a new pet into your home is a huge milestone and an exciting time for every member of the family—but it’s also a huge responsibility. To help make the introduction of a furry friend easier on both the animal and its new owners, it’s best to be as prepared as possible. The team at McGuinn Hybrid Homes has a few tips on preparing your home and family members for a new pet.
Pet-proof where necessary
No matter what type of animal you’re bringing into your home, from cat or dog to rodent or reptile, pet-proofing is absolutely essential to keeping your pet and your belongings safe. Many common household items pose a threat to animals, so you should do a sweep of every room in the house. Get the wires for electronics out of reach, move cleaning supplies into a cabinet, rearrange the pantry to get pet-toxic foods onto higher shelves and invest in lidded trash cans in the kitchen and bathrooms. If you have any houseplants, a quick internet search can let you know if they’re safe for pets to be around. Plants that aren't pet-friendly should be given away to a pet-less friend or family member, or relocated to your office—this might seem drastic, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Designate a space for them
Just like human family members, your pet should have designated spaces throughout the home. Make food and water easily accessible by placing bowls in the kitchen. If you plan on crating your new pet, find the best spot in the house for this. Many people use a mudroom, spare room or bedroom. Once you trust your new pet to roam freely, make sure there’s a bed for them in a sunny spot of the house where people tend to gather, like the great room or entertainment space.
Stock up on and organize supplies
Get the essentials together before your furry friend comes home, so you don’t have to leave them for multiple trips to the pet supply store. A collar and ID tag with the pet’s name and your phone number should be taken with you to pick up the animal, as well as a leash. At home, add a hook near the front door or in the coat closet to hang leashes and potty bags for easy access before walks. Food, treats and medicine should be stored in a secure spot, and toys can be scattered throughout the house for the pet to enjoy. Don’t forget a litter box for cats and kittens.
Secure the yard
For new dog owners, take a quick survey of your backyard before letting your pup out there to do its business. Ensure the fence is secure (and low enough to the ground that they won’t be able to squeeze under), pick up any debris and be prepared to fill any holes they dig. If your yard isn’t fenced in, always keep your dog on a leash when letting him or her outside. Walks are the best way to expel energy in young puppies and more active breeds.
Clean and declutter the house
Take the opportunity to clean your house and rearrange any items that may cause issues with a new pet. Clean under beds and dressers, place any valuables out of reach or in storage until you’re confident it won’t be a problem and get all laundry and kids’ toys picked up before their arrival.
Practice patience and give lots of love
Owning a pet is one of the most rewarding experiences. While there may be some mishaps and accidents in the beginning, it’s important to practice patience with your new family member. It’ll take a minute to get used to their surroundings, but loving owners help make the transition so much easier.
If you’re looking for a new-construction home to welcome a furry friend into, McGuinn Hybrid Homes has welcoming communities in the most sought-after locations in the greater Columbia area. Browse our floor plans or learn more about our Build On Your Land program, and discover a home that’s right for your family (and pets). To learn more or schedule a tour, give us a call at (803) 917-5583 or contact us online today.