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Whether you have a cat or dog coming to your house, it is essential to prepare their new living area and make it as comfortable to adjust and feel safe and welcomed. Of course, you need to take care of many things, but it’s all worth it. 

Pre-Arrival Preparations

The preparation for a pet can consume a lot of time, so it is a good idea to create a checklist to keep everything organized and not forget anything. Your checklist can include several things.

See if you can handle it financially

Having a pet is expensive, we’ll be honest. But, of course, most pet owners would agree that the joy and love pets give exceeds the investment. However, you must be honest with yourself, especially with your kids, if they want a pet about whether you can afford it. 

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the total annual cost for having a dog is around $1,300, and $1,140 for a cat. These include food, medical expenses, toys, litter (for cats), grooming supplies, etc. 

Determine whether you need to register a pet

Some areas require pet owners to register their new furry family members. Get this information beforehand and do it on time. 

Search for a trustworthy vet

Another critical responsibility of having a pet is taking care of their health. Once you decide to have one, look for a local vet and contact them immediately. Set an appointment to do all the recommended tests, physical examinations, and vaccines. 

Pet-proof the house 

Once your new tiny friend familiarises themself with the new environment, he/she will be curious to explore it. Everything can look like an interesting toy or tasty food. Puppies and kittens also have to deal with teething and chew everything they can get their paws on.

For instance, sugar-free food, medications, and aromatherapy items can be dangerous if they eat them. So ensure to have these items out of their sight and reach. Electrical cords can also be interesting to chew, as well as carpets and furniture, but it’s up to you to teach them not to do that. 

Dogs and cats like to jump, usually higher than you can imagine. Also, cats like to climb a lot. So remove everything you can from the top of the refrigerator or shelves if they decide that’s their favorite place to chill out. 

Finally, your pets will love the backyard. Determine whether your fence is easy to jump over, and see if any plants can be dangerous for them if they eat them. As you probably know, dogs like digging, and you must be on guard to stop and protect them from digging under the fence

Buy food

You may be tempted to share your food with your cat or dog, but they have specific dietary needs and may be allergic to some food. Therefore, contact a shelter or a breeder you are adopting/buying a pet from and find out what food to buy. 

Make a list of additional items for walking and transportation

You will also have to purchase a collar (with a bell for a cat) and a leash for a dog. When walking a dog, it is preferable to have an adjustable harness. As for a cat, you will need a travel crate. It should be comfortable enough, so the cat doesn’t feel trapped. 

A New Member Has Arrived

When your new fluffy friend is in the house, it’s time to let him/her get to know the space. 

Put a pet bed next to your bed

The first night in a new house is stressful for a pet. Even if you don’t want to have them in your bedroom in the future, spending the first night in the same room will help them get to know you and feel safe. 

Show them where their food and water bowls are

It is essential to teach your pet where their food and water are. The food bowl can be in one place, but you can place several water bowls in different parts of the house. 

Teach them where they can relieve themselves

It is another critical step. It may take some time, but to avoid stepping into unwanted ”gifts” from your furry friends, they must know where they are allowed to relieve themselves, indoors and outdoors. 

Let them get to know the family members first

You are excited about showing your new family member to all your close friends and relatives. But, remember, that can be a shock for a little one. So, let him or her get to know the household members first. There will be plenty of time for external encounters. 

Congratulations, you got yourself a life-long friend

Cats and dogs differ in character. Cats are more independent and need less maintenance, but dogs’ loyalty is not from this world. 

Having a cat or a dog can be one of the best decisions. Yes, it comes with a lot of work and responsibilities, but the love they give in return is indescribable. 

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