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New puppy? Learn how to prepare your home for a furry friend
November 26 2011
(ARA) - Anyone who's welcomed a new pet into the home can tell you how important it is to prepare for that four-legged friend. Whether it's moving furniture to accommodate a dog cage or learning to host a puppy play-date with the bulldog next door, becoming a pet owner can be a definite learning process.

When getting your family and your home ready to welcome a furry friend, a few simple steps can go a long way:

* While your new pet is getting used to his/her surroundings, it's a good idea to keep them in a defined area of the house. Baby gates are perfect for closing off an area in your house and designating it as the 'puppy area.' Having a small rug in your puppy's play area will not only protect your floors, but also protect your dog from sliding and potentially getting hurt. Think twice about what furniture is included in your puppy area - the more excited they get, the clumsier they get.

* Keeping cleaning supplies on hand will be your greatest ally. The Swiffer Sweeper with new Wet Mopping Cloths are great for wiping up pet 'mistakes' and dirt that they might track in the house.

* Don't forget to brush your new furry friends. Brushing your pet regularly and frequently helps to keep his/her coat in check, especially if they are going through seasonal shedding. Brushing stimulates the skin to keep it naturally moisturized, which can cut back on dander. If possible, brush your pet outside to avoid spreading pet hair in the house.

*Get down to your pet's level, on your hands and knees, to see what he could get into. Dogs love chew toys, so don't entice them with a ball of wires from your stereo system. Zip-tie the cords together so they stay neat and tucked behind furniture. Also, cord covers are a great idea for those extension cords running along the floor. Certain types of floor plants can be poisonous if ingested, so be sure to move them up and out of the way.

* Pets, especially puppies, need to expel excess energy by playing with others just as much as children do. When hosting a puppy play-date, keep collars on both dogs. If you need to grab one of the dogs in a hurry, you want to be sure you have something to take hold of. Also, when inviting a four-legged friend over to your home, have the dogs meet outside. This way, your pup won't feel threatened in his own territory.

It's no secret that having a pet can benefit a family, but making certain that you and your home are prepared to welcome a four-legged friend will also benefit you. Taking a few simple precautions and making the effort to keep your home pet-friendly will make the transition easy.

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