Puppy Proofing Your Home



April 20, 2022

When you’re a pet parent, love for your fur baby AND love for your space and your stuff (or at least the desire to keep it orderly and intact) coexist. But pets don’t usually come into our homes understanding that. They’re like little kids—curious, testing boundaries, and needing to be taught what’s a toy, what’s absolutely off-limits, and what poses a danger to them. Pet-proofing before you bring home a new little one can help! Here are some practical pointers.

Scratchers: A Furniture-Saver

Where felines are involved, you’ll want a good scratch post or two. Cats have a biological need to scratch, stretch, and sharpen their claws, and if you don’t provide them with an alternative to your furniture or window screens…you almost can’t blame them for taking it out on what’s available to them.

An easy alternative is to invest in good scratchers before bringing home a cat or two. Get one that’s tall—at least the length your cat will be when he’s full-grown and fully outstretched--and nice and sturdy—with a thick enough base that your cat can confidently do some vigorous scratching without feeling like it’s going to tip over. Make sure the scratching surface is made of cardboard, or even better, sisal rope—that’s the thick, wiry, burlap brown rope that almost feels like it’ll give you a splinter if you rub it the wrong way.

Scratchers are an appealing alternative to furniture for your cats. Your furniture will be saved, and your cat will be enriched!

Nail Clippers

Nail clippers can also be a furniture-saver. Learn how to safely trim your dog or cat’s nails (there’s a great Bivvy blog about that right here), get them used to it while they’re young, and do it consistently their whole life through. Keeping their nails from getting too long will protect your furniture and floors. And it’s good for their health too! If they get too long, they can curl under and hurt their paw pads.

Hair Brushes

Get a good one that you will use consistently. It will keep hair tumbleweeds from gathering around your house, but it will also keep your pet more healthy and comfortable. Regular pet hair maintenance will keep your pet cool during hot months, and keep mats from building up.

You Know What they Say About Curiosity and the Cat…

Applies to dogs too! Puppies and kittens more so than their older counterparts, are like toddlers—curious. Before bringing one home, think about everything in your house from their point of view. What’s in your house that will be tempting to play with, or pique their curiosity?

One thing to be mindful of is electrical cords. Pretty much any kind of pet—dogs, cats, rodents—can chew through them. Try taping them down or doing whatever you can to keep them out of reach.

Trash can be a temptation for pets too—especially puppies. Invest in a trash can with a foot pedal so it’s not easy for them to get into. Not only are there potentially toxic foods awaiting them in your trash can, but also non-food items that could block their systems, like plastic bags, tissues, and bones.

Have a fish tank? Thinking about adding a cat to your family? Move the fish tank away from where the cat could get into it. But not into a place that gets much direct sunlight! That could lead to algae in the tank.

Think too about vases, family heirlooms, and other fragile or glass things that cats or other pets could knock over. Either remove them or glue them down to their surfaces.

And candles! When you introduce a pet into your home, don’t leave them in a place where your pet could stick their nose in them or knock them over.

Also keep away medicine, bleach, and other cleaners and chemicals.

Baby Gates and Other Deterrents

Put up baby gates to keep curious little critters out of areas of your house you don’t want them in. Alternatively, there are pet-safe deterrent sprays you can spritz on your furniture to keep them away.

A Room of their Own

One great way to get your new pet and your home off to a happy coexistence, is to give your pet a room of their own when they first arrive. It will keep them from getting overwhelmed too quickly by an entire new house. Having one small, manageable space for them to conquer—and feel safe in—initially will set you both up for success. And it will confine any havoc they wreak, like bathroom messes and chewing anything up, to one room.

And one final wise part of the house-proofing process is to get cat or dog insurance! When taking on the commitment of adding a pet to your family, it’s important to acknowledge that veterinary expenses of one kind or another will be involved. And when you’re looking for the best pet insurance fit for your family pet, consider Bivvy pet insurance. It’s simple and straightforward, with no complicated schedules of benefits.

And it’s affordable at less than $1/day! Bivvy covers new, unexpected accidents and illnesses with a speedy claims process to boot.

So when you add a new fur baby to your fam, be armed with Bivvy pet insurance to protect your pocketbook and make sure your home is safe for your new pet to live their best life. With these two elements in mind, you can start your life together on excellent footing that will lay the foundation for a glorious bond.