By now, your home should be ready for spring with lightened decor and bright flowers in your garden, but have you prepped for a fluffy new addition? Spring is considered kitten and puppy season, and you never know when you may wind up bringing home a new family member. As cute and cuddly as they may be, they can be destructive little monsters and your home may be a dangerous place without proper prep work. Here’s how to make sure your home is ready before you bring them home and the do’s and don’ts for after they've arrived to protect them from your home and protect your home from them.
- Consider installing childproof latches on low cabinets to prevent pets from pawing them open and getting trapped inside.
- Secure any dangling wires from electronics to prevent pets from batting, chewing, or getting tangled in them.
- Move anything potentially dangerous out of reach, such as medications, small objects, cleaners, sharp items, or harmful food like chocolate.
- Keep trash cans covered or in a latched cabinet.
- If you have live plants in your home, check to ensure they’re not harmful to your pets if ingested. If your pet will go outside, do a perimeter sweep to check for hazardous plants. Some examples would include poinsettia, mistletoe, lilies, azalea and daffodils.
- Search for any small spaces around your home where your pet may get caught like holes or openings behind appliances and cover them.
- Remove any breakable items from areas your pet could reach and knock over.
- If you have floor heating/air vents, make sure they have covers.
- For kittens, purchase a tall cat tower to entertain them and also give them a place to scratch to save your couch.
- For puppies, purchase a wide range of chew toys to save your shoes and cords.
- Make a habit of looking where you step, baby pets tend to get underfoot without you noticing.
- Check your dryer to make sure your kitten hasn't jumped into it before you turn it on.
- If you use chemicals in your toilet, make sure to keep the lid closed to prevent drinking.
- Never give kittens a ball of yarn or string to play with on their own - they pose a potential choking threat.
If you’re going to leave your pet at home for a period of time, use a doorstop to prop open all doors to rooms they need access to, such as the room where their food, water, and litter box is, and close all other doors where they don’t need to go to ensure they don’t get trapped inside while you’re away.
- Never give a kitten a bowl of milk since it may make them sick due to a lactose intolerance.
- If your kitten sleeps in the garage or around your car, bang on your hood before driving to ensure he or she hasn't hidden in your engine for warmth.
- Keep your purse in a place where your pet cannot climb in or chew on it.
- Cut handles on bags before allowing kittens to play in them
- Keep food off kitchen counters and out of reach.