One of the more lighthearted news before we all got cooped up for months last year was the shortage of animals up for adoption. It’s no coincidence that Kiwis found pets to be an essential during that unsettling time. Pet-caring has lots of proven benefits to one’s mental health and the companionship pets offer is a great way to reduce anxiety and stress.
If you’ve been wanting to dive into the whole world of dog/cat/*insert animal here*-parenting, here are five tips to make your current space a little more loving towards your future pet.
1. Think like a parent.
Human babies and animals could not be more different. However, the ways to care for these living beings have a lot of common denominators. Keep your space safe with the use of baby gates to limit and control access to different parts of your home, cover up electrical outlets and tie up power cables, and have safety locks or latches for your cabinets, rubbish bins, and toilet bowl lids.
2. Poison-proof your home.
Naturally, a poison-free home is the (or should be the) standard of every home. Besides, a toxin-free environment is beneficial for every member of your household. With your pets in mind, it is most certainly worth investigating what products, plants, food, or other items could trigger allergies or worse, poison your pet. And we recommend diving into specifics – what could be safe for cats, could be lethal for dogs, and vice versa. Once identified, keep them out of reach, or if possible, avoid these at all costs.
3. Make cleaning a daily habit.
Chaotic spaces breed chaotic energy. People could attest to this, but a complete stab in the dark and we’d say animals would agree too. It doesn’t have to be a big daily ta-dah or a spring-clean level of activity, but committing a dedicated portion of your day (or every other day) to make sure your pet’s space is all clean and tidy is beyond ideal. A bit of wiping and sweeping, and putting away of the toys, and a swift vacuum to say bye to fur and you’re done.
4. Re-assess, re-arrange, and re-organise.
Before welcoming the pupper or kitty to your humble abode, it’s worth taking a step back and reviewing your home. Figure out which spaces in your home will you give your pet a ‘no holds barred’-access to. In these spaces, are there any breakables that are accessible or could be within your pet’s reach? If the answer is yes, best to elevate those to higher spots or move to a different room. If you have chewable furniture (think: wood), it might be worth moving things around and have more non-chewable pieces (think: metal) where your pets will hang around the most. Consider using a multi-color patterned rug too to mask spills and dirt.
5. Spoil them with a view.
Just like humans, animals wouldn’t say no to a good view. That’s why providing your pets with bits and bobs for easier window access is such a treat. This could be in the form of an ottoman where they could hop on to be a tad closer to a window, or maybe some lightweight and sheer fabric curtains for a less obstructed view. On a related note, make sure to check if there’s anything distracting or dangerous sitting along window sills or hanging from your curtain rods.