A dog laying on a bed with a computer mouse

For many, bringing home a new pet is something we do on impulse and with utter abandon. Other folks, however, require lots of time to research the right fit. Both approaches can work well, but it is rather important to know exactly what an animal needs – and how you can deliver the goods. 

If you only had to bring home some kibble, more people might adopt with greater frequency. But the truth is, there is so much more than that. Pet proofing, that is, keeping potential risks at bay, is a great place to start.

Choosing Wisely

Pets are irresistible, and it’s not uncommon for owners to adopt a pet based on cuteness alone. However, an adorable pet can become quite a handful as they age and it’s critical to be prepared to meet all their needs. 

Dog Demands

Dogs and puppies can be excellent additions to many households. They require daily physical and mental exercise (especially if you adopt a working breed). If you do not have adequate yard space, you must provide them with exercise and bathroom breaks in all kinds of weather.

A Word On Training

Dogs of all breeds, ages and sizes benefit from knowing their place in the household. Preparing your home should definitely involve an understanding of basic obedience training. Teaching them how to behave is a great way to cultivate a lifelong friendship, and keeps them safe.

Lifestyle Matters

If you are fairly active, choose a pet that can accompany you. Alternatively, if you’re into staying home snuggling, an indoor-only cat might be the best choice. 

Also, what is your tolerance for shedding? Adopting a new pet can trigger allergies, and to reduce the risk of surrendering your pet, it’s best to know beforehand what your tolerance may be.

Guide to Pet Proofing

There are lots of ways to prevent accidental illness or injury at home. Pet proofing should include a close look at your floor. Remove toxic house plants, electrical cords, and any choking hazards (like Legos, shoes, and anything they can get their teeth on). Pet proofing should also extend to the bathrooms, laundry areas, garage spaces, and yard. Be sure they cannot access garbage, compost, chemicals, rodent traps or repellents, and really anything that could endanger them.

Be sure to hang up bags and coats, and remove items from lower surfaces.

Gear & Creature Comforts

After pet proofing is complete (and it may never end), you can acquire the necessary gear like bedding, toys, treats, bowls, food, and a crate. 

Bringing home a new pet is always so exciting, but there is a period of adjustment for everyone in the household (especially if there are other animals). Keep ahead of any issues by reading up on introducing your pet to kids and other pets. 

Spend time with your pet every day and get to know their likes and preferences. Try to stay neutral until they feel comfortable, and don’t force them into any interactions before they’re ready.

Join Us!

The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center highly recommend fostering a pet to gain an understanding of the demands of pet ownership. We also promote adoption, and invite you to meet our adoptable animals at our adoption events throughout the year. 

Keep in mind that new pets should be examined shortly after adoption. Your pet’s first exam in 100% free, and we also offer free microchipping to prevent loss or separation. 

If you have further questions about pet proofing and preparing for adoption, please contact us.