How To Prepare for a New Dog or Cat at Home
How To Prepare for a New Dog or Cat at Home
Home Security

How To Prepare for a New Dog or Cat at Home

By Ring on January 13, 2023

After several months of thinking, research, and long talks with other pet parents, you’ve finally decided that it’s time to expand your family — with a new furry friend. But before you can visit a shelter, fall in love with your new dog or kitten, and watch them sniff out their forever home, you need to ensure that your house is ready for its latest addition.

Whether you plan on adopting an energetic puppy or an older, mellow cat, here are a few tips to help you pet-proof your space before they make it their own.

How To Prepare Your House for a Dog

When you imagine your life with a new puppy or dog, you think of long walks outside, afternoon cuddles, and games of fetch in the park. But before settling into a routine with your new companion, you need to get through an adjustment period — which can require a lot of time and patience.

Here are some universal tips to help you prepare for a new dog:

  • Gather supplies: Once you bring your new dog home, you’ll be busy entertaining them, learning their personality, and making sure they don’t get into anything they shouldn’t. That’s why you should go shopping before they’re here. Little Fido will have everything they need to get comfortable, and you won’t have to make an emergency stop at the pet store amid the chaos. Here are some supplies to help you prepare for a dog:
  • A collar or harness and identification tag.
  • A leash.
  • Dog food and training treats.
  • Water and food bowls.
  • A comfy bed.
  • Plenty of chew toys.
  • A grooming kit.
  • Inspect your fence: If you have a fenced-in yard where Rover can run free, check your fence for gaps and holes to ensure he won’t be able to sneak out — before you let him off-leash.
  • Dog-proof your home and garage: No matter how many treats or bones you buy, your new dog will still go sniffing around — and if there’s something they shouldn’t get into, they’ll find it. Be sure to keep any cleaning supplies, medications, food, and sharp objects out of reach, and cover your trash cans. You may also need to hide wires, move any breakable knick-knacks, and put your houseplants on a higher shelf.
  • Schedule a vet visit: You may need some extra supplies or house modifications if your new dog has health concerns. Set an appointment now so you can get a check-up and routine vaccinations as soon as your new doggo is settled in.
  • While all dogs require some advanced preparation, you may need to take these extra steps if you’re preparing for a new puppy:

  • Purchase a crate: Dog crates provide a safe space for your puppy to relax and sleep, and they can help you with their potty training routine. Your new furry friend will want to keep their safe space clean and tidy, so they will usually let you know if they need to go outside.
  • Keep rooms off-limits with baby gates: You may not trust your tiny puppy to venture into the laundry room or office while they’re still getting used to their new home. Baby gates can keep them out until they’re a little older.
  • How To Prepare Your Home for a Cat

    A cat may seem like a more low-maintenance pet than a two-month-old puppy, but welcoming a feline friend still requires pet-proofing. Here are a few tips to make your home cat-friendly before you introduce your newest family member.

  • Cat-proof your home: Preparing your home for a cat isn’t too different from getting ready for a dog. Place food, chemicals, and medicines out of reach, and cover up any loose cords. Some houseplants can also be poisonous for cats, so you may need to swap them out with safe alternatives. Look out for loose strings, thread, and wires — these can cause serious issues when swallowed.
  • Get supplies: As soon as you bring a cat home, it will need food, water, and a litter box. Take a trip to the store beforehand, so you can spend as much time with your new kitty as possible once they arrive.
  • Buy toys and a scratching post: If your cat doesn’t have toys to play with, they might start scratching up your couch, swatting at electrical cords, and chewing on your rugs. Be sure to pick up a few toys for them to chase when they get the zoomies, and get a scratching post so your furniture stays intact.
  • Pick a small, quiet room to be their new home: When you’re setting up your new supplies, keep them in one room. It takes time for kittens and mature cats to adjust to their new environment, so you should introduce them to one room at a time.
  • Tips for Any New Furry Friend

    Whether you adopt a five-year-old German Shepherd or a tabby kitten that can fit in the palm of your hand, these tips can help you prepare your home for any new companion.

    Install Indoor and Outdoor Security Cameras

    In a perfect world, you’d be able to spend every free moment getting to know your pet, learning their routine, and introducing them to your friends and family. But you can't keep an eye on Fido or Fluffy around the clock if you have kids, a job, and a new fur baby to look after.

    If you want to check in on your dog or cat from the office, kid's football game, or across the house, consider installing a few Indoor and Outdoor Security Cameras. You can watch live footage of your cat chasing a toy mouse across the living room or your dog running circles around the backyard. And if you put a camera in a room your new pet isn’t supposed to enter, you’ll get a Motion Alert letting you know if they do — so you can pick up a doorknob cover on your way home.

    As a new dog or cat owner, you may not want to imagine your new friend escaping the house. But some crafty pets can find a way to sneak out as soon as you turn your head. If they pass your Outdoor Cam or Video Doorbell, you’ll know exactly when they left by checking the Motion Alerts on your Ring App.

    With a Ring Protect subscription, you’ll also be able to look through your video footage to see where your furry friend went and save a video to share with your neighbors. You may even capture the exact moment they return home — like Lilly the cat, who rang her parents’ doorbell after a four-day adventure around the neighborhood. And you'll have plenty of content of your pets' antics to share with your friends, family and on social media like Bella's and Miso's humans did.

    Create a Pet Profile on the Neighbors App

    If your precious pet becomes an escape artist, you don’t want to waste any time before starting your search. But your neighbors may be the best resource to help you bring Milo home — especially if he ends up on their front porch.

    By creating a Pet Profile on the Neighbors App, you won’t have to spend time creating a Lost Pet post to share with the neighborhood. The app will generate a post using the pictures and information you already entered, so you can get the word out right away.

    Our Final Tip: Get Excited!

    Now that you and your home are prepared for a new dog or cat, the day has finally come to expand your family! Be prepared for a lifetime of snuggles, walks in the park, petting sessions — and fur that never seems to go away, no matter how many times you pull out the vacuum.

    Ring icon
    Contact Info
    Have a Story?

    If you have stories or videos you’d like to share with us, please send them to stories@ring.com.