Congrats! You’re about to embark on the beautiful journey of having an animal companion join your family. Bringing an animal home is exciting, and you may be envisioning all of the fun you two will have in the near future — but before you get too ahead of yourself, have you considered whether your home is prepared for your newest addition?

Making sure your home is a suitable and safe environment is necessary for your animal to thrive. We’ve listed a few key things you can do today before bringing home your new loved one!

Get Your Home Animal-Proof Approved

When adopting an animal, especially a small puppy or kitten, it is important to protect them from potentially hazardous items in your home. To the human eye, it can be easy to overlook possible threats, but put yourself in your animal’s shoes.

Start by making sure that your floors are kept clean. Put away all small and/or pointed objects. Keep items such as electrical cords, chemicals, and food hidden and out of reach. Lastly, make yourself aware of (and relocate or give away) any household plants that may be poisonous to your animal friend.

Purchase the Necessities

Animals can’t live off of love and cuddles alone. After making sure your home is safe for your new pet, you’ll need to purchase items to meet all of their needs. Your list should include items such as a collar, an ID tag, food, bowls, snacks, toys, a crate, and any necessary medications or calming aids. If you’re getting a dog, you will need items such as a leash and potty bags. For a cat, you’ll need a litter box.

Don’t worry if you don’t buy everything at once. If this is your first adoption, you may not become aware of all of your animal’s needs until after living with them for a while. It’s okay to add to your list along the way.

Set Up Their Space(s)

Lastly, make sure that your animal friend has their own special piece of your home. It will be theirs too, after all! Once you’ve purchased them a comfy bed, you’ll have to decide where to keep it. Picking a designated space in your living room or in a guest room are great options.

You’ll also need to decide which area will become their feeding spot. Many people choose a spot in or near their kitchen to place their animal’s food and water bowl. (Just remember, if you are adopting a cat, do not put the litter box too close to their eating area.)

Start Early, and Have Fun!

Now you’re all set with tips to prepare your home for a new animal companion. Getting prepared in advance will make the transition more relaxed and comfortable for you and them — allowing more time to make fun memories. Do yourself a favor and get started as soon as possible!

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