Pet Proofing Your New Home

It’s no secret that landlords and rental companies often impose limitations on what types of pets their tenants can own, and how many. This can be a major drawback for animal lovers, and it can be a major selling point in their decision to purchase a home.

But if you’ve never had pets before (or if you’ve only ever kept them in an apartment), transitioning them to a larger house can come with a few shocks.

First, there’s the move itself. While dogs tend to be incredibly adaptable, your cat might not be as comfortable with leaving your previous place. If you’re moving a feline friend, try to make sure you have already created a cozy area in your new home, full of some of their familiar toys and lounge spots. This will ensure they have a refuge while you get organized, while at the same time letting them know that they are safe at home.

Next comes the décor. While you can expect a puppy to go after smaller objects like socks and shoes, cats are more prone to destruction by way of scratching larger furniture. However, they prefer materials that their nails can easily penetrate, such as thin leather or cloth. If you’re in the market for new furniture and want to prevent claw marks, opt for microfiber. Its thick, soft fabric creates a surface that is more optimal for afternoon naps than anxious scratching.

If you plan to keep a combination of pets, you should consider their specific needs and interactions. For instance, introducing a dog to a previously cat-only household has its challenges. While you might have been able to keep the litter box in an open corner before, your new puppy will likely try everything they can to get into the box when you’re not looking.

If your space allows, move your cat box into an area separated from the rest of the house (such as a laundry room). Buy a cat door that you can affix to a regular wooden door by cutting a hole out of the bottom with a jigsaw. This will create a small portal that your cat can fit through but (much to their chagrin) your dog can’t.

Despite their small stature, some pets are magicians. If you know that your cat or dog has the ability to open doors with lever-like handles, consider switching all entries to the outdoors and rooms with potentially dangerous items to knob hardware.

Lastly, if your pup is accustomed to a yard-less apartment, they will probably have a literal field day in your new outdoor space. Even if they are fully grown, consider re-introducing a training collar as they explore the yard. If they start digging into something they shouldn’t or attempting to escape, a gentle buzz or beeping sound can teach them to respect their new boundaries.

Purchasing a home is an important step for you and your family, including the furry ones. Always keep their safety and happiness in mind when you make major life decisions. If you and Buddy are ready for an upgrade, reach out to a NOVA Loan Officer today!