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Bringing a pet into your home can be an exciting milestone in your life. Whether you choose to bring in a cute puppy or an adorable kitten, there’s no doubt that they will become a close companion for your entire household. But, while welcoming a pet can be an exciting prospect, it takes a lot of preparation to ensure that everything is ready for them when they arrive.
When considering buying a pet, stocking up on basic necessities like food and bedding is the bare minimum. You will also need to find a trusted local vet who can look after your furry family member’s vaccinations and check-ups. Besides the ‘obvious’ essentials, here is what else you should consider buying before buying a pet.
1. Stock Up On Basic Medications
While having a sick pet may be the last thing you expect, newborn puppies and kittens can get sick often, especially if they’ve moved to a new home. Since you don’t want to be running to a vet every time something minor happens, choosing a few basic medications to have in your home all the time is crucial. Common pet medications include:
- Anti-parasitic (heartworm pills)
You can discuss with your vet the best medications for your dog or cat, depending on their size, age, and breed. Pain relievers and vitamins will be available at any pet supplies store, or you can order pet supplies in bulk online and likely save some money. Discuss the dosage and frequency with your vet first.
Of course, we’re talking about medications for your pet — but don’t forget medications for yourself! Even if you’ve never had an allergic reaction to pet fur or dander, having a new animal in your home, climbing on you, and snuggling on your blankets may stir up some allergies. Stock up on a few antihistamines for yourself so you aren’t sneezing in your new pup’s face.
2. Invest In A Barrier Fence
Your new dog or cat will be extremely curious when they enter your home, and their natural instinct to explore every possible corner of your house can lead to all sorts of accidents and crashes. When not every component of your home is not properly ‘pet-proofed’, it can lead to damaged items and injuries for your pet, which is why an indoor barrier is important. For most small cats and dogs, you can purchase a regular baby gate to set up in the house.
If you have a new puppy, we recommend buying an outdoor dog barrier fence as well, just to make sure that they remain safe even while exploring the outdoors. This requires a more specialized product since a baby gate won’t cover your whole yard. The ideal fence should prevent your pet from digging or trying to wriggle out from underneath it and should be high enough to prevent them from jumping.
Don’t think this only applies to dogs. A cat fence is a perfect solution when you are planning to let your cat outdoors but have concerns about them running off or encountering an aggressive animal. If you’re someone who wants to spend as much time with your cat as possible, a fence can slowly enable your cat to become more used to the outdoors and happier too.
3. Find A Cat Staircase
You don’t need an expert to tell you that cats can sometimes be the most mischievous and secretive pets around. While they love to jump around and perch themselves in impossible locations, it can sometimes be challenging for them to get down from these locations. Kittens especially have difficulty getting back to their original place, and you might have to spend hours trying to figure out how to get them down.
When you are looking for a fool-proof way to ensure that your cat is able to settle and lounge wherever they like, a cat staircase is the best solution. You can find staircases that are already assembled and can be fixed to areas that would attract a cat. You can also wait for your cat to arrive home safely before deciding where to place the staircase, so you have a better idea of what locations they find difficult to reach or get down from.
4. Consider Their Grooming
It is never too soon to get your pet started on grooming, especially when it comes to their nails. For cats especially, nails can become a dangerous weapon, and you might end up getting scratched more often than expected. Any pet in an unfamiliar environment for the first time is bound to get dirty while exploring, and you need to ensure that you have the proper grooming tools needed to keep them clean and healthy.
Basic investments include getting a nail trimmer and a brush. You can also consider buying a pet toothbrush and shampoo to keep their coat glossy. Dogs and cats can suffer from dandruff, environmental allergies, and more, just like us, so ensuring that you’re taking the steps needed to prevent that is crucial.
5. Strategize for Potty Training
You likely know that puppies and kittens don’t come completely house-trained, and surely you eventually want them to get to this point. But many new pet owners fail to create a consistent plan for potty training their new pet.
Buy a noticeable litter box that your cat can see clearly. Consider taking your puppy out for a walk every two hours, especially after they eat and drink to put them in a routine. Buy some floor pads while your pet is training, and make sure to keep them away from areas of your home where you don’t want to clean up a mess.
6. Research Pet Toys
Yes, toys are basic necessities for any pet, but that doesn’t mean it’s only for fun and games. Toys can serve as great educational and training tools for pets. Interactive toys like lasers and slow feeders can keep your pet mentally stimulated while helping them expend their energy.
Check out a new kitten essentials checklist or new puppy essentials checklist to see what experts recommend, as it can help your pet during its teething phase.
While welcoming a new pet into your home can be incredibly exciting, you shouldn’t forget that the foundation for them to feel comfortable in your home has to be set beforehand. You want your new pet to feel welcomed and loved the moment they walk in, and that can only happen when they have everything they need.