Got a new pet?

Getting a new pet is an exciting time for you and your family, read our tips on getting your home ready.

Getting a new pet is an exciting time for you and your family. For your pet, this can be a scary time in new surroundings, so it’s important that you take a few steps to get your home ready for the new arrival.

Kittens and puppies can be mischievous when exploring their new home, it's a really good idea to check that it is safe before you bring your pet home.

Around the Home, Everything is a Toy!

Puppies like to chew things!! Just like toddlers, they chew as a way to ease the pain of teething.  Make sure you supervise them to stop them chewing dangerous wires, your furniture or any hazardous objects.  Try and keep chewable items such as socks and shoes out of reach – it’s common for puppies to swallow large pieces of chewed up items, which can then become stuck in their intestines. When you’re out, it’s worth leaving your puppy in a suitable crate, so they can be kept safe when you’re not there to watch them.

Kittens love playing with wool, string and shoelaces. However, swallowing long pieces can cause the intestines to bunch up, resulting in a lengthy and potentially dangerous operation. Make sure there are no sewing kits left around, and your kitten can’t pull on any loose curtain threads.

Investing in a good supply of puppy toys or cat toys is a good idea as it gives your new pet something safe to chew on and play with.

Make sure all food items are secured away in a cupboard. Onions, grapes, sultanas, and chocolate can be toxic to animals. Clear away kitchen scraps quickly and make sure your pet can’t access the rubbish bin. Cooked chicken bones can be tempting but can also be very dangerous if swallowed.

Household cleaners and insecticides should also be placed well out of reach of your pet.

Playing in the Garden

If your new pet has access to a garden, make sure it’s safe, it's surprising how small a hole a puppy or kitten can squeeze through. You should never leave your pet unattended in the garden, puppies will chew on anything they can find. If you notice them chewing stones, limit their access to gravelled areas.

There are a number of things commonly found in gardens that can be toxic for pets:

Daffodil bulbs – make sure these aren’t dug up and chewed.
Lillies – these are extremely toxic to cats and can result in kidney failure.
Rat or slug bait – make sure this is well out of the way. If in doubt, don’t use them.

Getting stuck!

Puppies and kittens are inquisitive and like to explore. Always keep the doors to the fridge, washing machine, and tumble dryer shut. Kittens like to curl up inside the washing machine and fall asleep. Keep the toilet seat down as well – kittens can easily fall in and get stuck! Pet beds are important as they give your pet somewhere safe and secure to sleep.

The House Rules

Although your new pet is adorable, it is important to establish boundaries right from the start. If you don’t want them to chew something, say ‘no’ in a stern voice and give them a toy instead – your consistency will soon pay off. If your cat starts scratching the furniture, invest in a cat scratching post and put them on it when they are scratching something they shouldn't.  It’s also a good idea to limit access to all rooms until your pet is house trained and can be trusted. You can use baby gates to help with this. Your pet will soon learn that they don’t have the right to roam freely in your house, and will wait to be asked before entering a room. Not only does this result in a polite and well-mannered pet, it also prevents any noses and tails being trapped in doors!