Whether you’re moving with your beloved pets into a brand-new place or are planning to add one (or more!) to your new space once you’ve settled in, preparing the home for their safety and comfort right from the start gives your family the best possible chance of a smooth transition.
1. Review Each Room With Them In Mind
From fish in an aquarium to rambunctious puppies, picturing how your pets will interact and live in the actual space will help you map out the important details. Some of these are obvious: If you have an older pet or one with medical issues, you may want to avoid putting their essentials in a place where they’ll have to navigate stairs to get to them.
2. Check Escape Routes
If your pets can run, you’ll need to review their access to doors and windows: Even the biggest homebody of a cat may occasionally get the “zoomies” and attempt to race out the door. Having safety gates at the ready for young dogs who are still learning boundaries is a great investment. Additionally, review your yards, patios, and surrounding walls for pet-sized gaps and their distance to dangers like deep water or busy roads.
3. Find Safe Spaces for Chemicals
Even if you can store household cleaning products completely out of reach from your curious animals, you should purchase a simple but effective cabinet lock.
4. Always Be Prepared
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. We humans usually have a first aid kit around, but what about our pets? Keeping their medication in a dedicated spot and having a few essentials ready, such as animal-safe wound care cream and gauze, will save a huge headache later.
5. Avoid Guesswork
Having your quick access supplies is great, but there’s no beating a professional in a serious situation. Keep your pet’s veterinarian information on your fridge and phone for emergencies.
6. Look for Sneaky Spots
Pets can be unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to get ahead of their spontaneous ideas of “adventure.” Purchase trash cans and recycling bins with pet-proof lids. If your new home has areas that would be hard for you to access but easy for a small animal to jump or fly into, make sure you have a ready way to retrieve them. For large appliances like washing machines, always keep the doors securely closed.
7. Create Comfy Spots
Sadly, pets do occasionally get sick or stressed out, and it’s important to give them space where they can heal or decompress. When decorating, incorporate a few little spots that your pet may appreciate on the hard days.
8. Offer Outlets for Stress
Keeping your pets as calm as possible will also help them stay as safe as possible while you’re all adjusting to a new place. Don’t forget to keep their toys, scratching posts or anything else that brings them comfort nearby.
9. Know Your Neighborhood
It’s never a bad idea to have a friendly relationship with people on your street. If you have a dog or cat, don’t make it a secret. If your furry friend ever does escape, your neighbors will already be familiar with who to help look for.