Deciding to get a pet is a big decision. In fact, it can almost be compared to deciding to have a baby. And as you would prepare your house for the pitter patter of little feet, so must you for the patter of little paws.
Deciding to get a new pet can be a big decision, but it is one you will not regret if you do it right.
Whether you have decided to get a kitten or puppy, or any other pet for that matter, there are a few things you will need to do in order to ensure that they have the perfect environment to grow up in.
Get on your knees
Get down on your hands and knees and take a crawl around your house. This is what your environment looks like from your pet's perspective.
If you see anything that looks like it would be interesting (or tasty) to your curious pet, move it to a higher location.
Move anything you don’t want broken or chewed out of your pets reach, including household cleaners and houseplants, as these can be dangerous to your new family member's health.
You can find out which plants are toxic to animals on www.aspca.org
Cords, drapes and blinds
When you buy cat toys, try to avoid toys that have things that can be pulled off and swallowed.
Animals have a thing about electrical cords. Whether they are simply playing with them or chewing them, they can cause some damage.
If you happen to have exposed cords, try taping them along the wall near the skirting board. If you can’t do this, simply tuck them under the carpets in the room. If your pets can’t see them, they are less likely to try and destroy them.
Kittens, and some puppies, have a tendency to tug on things that hang above their noses. If you have ropes or strings hanging from your blinds, it would be a good idea to roll them up and tuck them out of reach.
To stop your new pet chewing on the corners of your furniture, simply buy some bitter solution (bitter apple spray) and apply it to the surfaces.
This will deter your animal from chewing on your things, but don’t forget to give him something of his own that he can chew.
Screen the windows
Avoid puppy toys that resemble clothes or shoes, as your dog will not understand why you reprimand him for chewing on your shoes later in life.
If you have adopted a kitten and do not live on the ground level, it is important to put screens across the windows and any doors you keep open during the day.
These screens are designed to fit across the window and prevent your kitten from falling or jumping. Unfortunately, this happens more than most of us think, and although cats supposedly have nine lives, they may not survive a fall from a great height.
Once you have gotten your little bundle of fur, you should consider where you want him to go.
Close the doors of rooms you don’t want your pet visiting without supervision, as a puppy running away with the toilet roll can lose its cute factor very fast.
If you have both cats and dogs, you may want to opt for dog gates. These gates block off the doorway to a certain height and come in a variety of lengths. There are also a few that come with built-in kitty doors, so that the wrong pet doesn’t get locked out.
There are a number of things you can get your pets to entertain them. Rubber balls, squeaky toys and things to chew on.
The thing to remember with cats is that they also like to chew. When you buy cat toys, try to avoid toys that have things that can be pulled off, as this can become dangerous if your kitten swallows it.
Anything that is shiny, twinkly or rolls will keep your kitten entertained for hours.
Dogs will settle for just about anything, but avoid giving them toys that resemble clothes or shoes, as they will not understand if you reprimand them for mistaking your brand new pair of boots for a 'chew' toy. – Victoria Taylor