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Helpful Tips For Preparing Your House For a New Pet From the Floors Up
While expectant parents are typically very aware of how to “baby proof” their homes in anticipation of the arrival of a newborn, it’s rarely easy for new pet-owners to be well prepared when bringing home a new puppy or kitten. Since animals walk and chew long before a newborn baby can even turn over, it’s important to make sure to “pet-proof” your home before welcoming a four-legged friend into the family.
So what part of your home will be more vulnerable to your new puppy or kitten than your flooring?
From muddy paws and “accidents,” to untold destruction (see above) your flooring will be the first thing affected by your new furry family member. One of the more important considerations homeowners with new pets will face is that of your flooring being well suited to your new pet’s adventures. This usually means you’ll wish for a durable, stain and soil resistant floor that is low maintenance, looks great in your home and, by the way, it must be a good value.
There are carpets, such as those in the Relax, It’s LeesÒ collection that are specially designed to withstand pet spills and stains. Relax It’s LeesÒ carpet features patented stain protection technology from 3M, the makers of ScotchgardÔ protector, that, unlike any other, penetrates the carpet completely and repels stains. Relax It’s LeesÒ carpeting also comes with a 25-year Ultra25 stain protection service plan that includes “pet messes,” which are excluded from most other carpet lines.
You may also consider choosing a durable hard surface flooring, instead of carpeting. Quality vinyl and laminate floor coverings and hardwood and tile flooring have all been designed to be both scratch-resistant and easy to clean. Vinyl and laminate flooring represent excellent choices for pet-owners who need durable and serviceable floors and want something stylish but don’t want to break the bank.
Getting the right flooring is a great start, but you shouldn’t stop there! Pet experts recommend the following some quick and easy tips for protecting your entire home, from the floors up, so relationships with pets can be filled with love, rather than anxiety.
Before bringing a pet into your home, you have to pay attention to potential hazards – or temptations – and take the necessary precautions to ensure the smoothest transition for both you and your new pet,” says Tim Kelly, Certified Professional Dog Trainer. “Once you’ve pet-proofed your home as best you can, make sure you have an ample supply of patience and a great sense of humor!”
Kelly suggests the following these tips for pet-preparing your home:
· Protect Your Fragile Home Furnishings. Use common sense when it comes to breakables in your home. If you love that vase you inherited from your grandmother, don’t put it on a low table or shelf. A dog’s wagging tail can make that vase history!
· Protect Your Home From Pet Stains. Pets will most likely have accidents on the floor until they are trained. In addition, if your pet is feeling neglected during the day, it might take its frustration out on your flooring. In either case, you want to make sure you have an enzymatic cleaner and a durable carpet to battle the messes.
· TIP: What To Do If a Stain Occurs. If your pet stains your flooring, the sooner you remove the stain the better. A good stain removal guide like that available through Stainmaster (www.stainmaster.com), Weardated ( www.weardated.com), or elsewhere on the web should explain how to clean everything from pet food to urine. If you have a pet food stain, for example, scrape or blot up the excess spill, and then apply dry baking powder. Scrape that up and then vacuum. Use a damp sponge to wipe up the remaining baking soda, but don’t over-wet the area. Then blot, but don’t rub. Apply a presoak solution (which is one teaspoon enzyme laundry detergent mixed with one cup water). Then wipe with a damp sponge again, and re-blot. Afterwards, apply a good dry powder cleaner such as s Capture. And then a final vacuuming of the spot should take care of it!
· Protect Your Home With Boundaries. Create boundaries in your home for your pets. Have designated playing areas, which you can easily form with flexible gates, exercise pens, or doors. And different flooring can help enforce those different places. Create a sleeping area for your dog including a crate for Rover to sleep in – this will help housebreak the pup and eliminate his anxiety from being separated from the family at night. Cats will need a bathroom area with kitty litter set-up. The best place for a “play area” or “sleeping area” is on durable flooring, someplace where it is easy to clean up pet hair or stains. Carpeting or a hard surface like vinyl or laminate could be is ideal in this situation.
Although it’s important to protect your home from messes and accidents, it’s also imperative you make sure your home is equally as safe for your new pet. Kelly reminds pet owners to:
· Protect Your Pet From Injuries. Go through your home, looking for harmful objects that are within your pet’s reach. Most plants are harmless, but others can be fatal (check with your vet) and should not be displayed on the floor or a low table. Cover any electrical cables and cords with tubing or tape them down with electrical tape, and cover electrical outlets.
· Protect Your Pet From Disease. If your home already has other pets, keep the younger pet away from any pet excrement or urine, both of which contain elements for which puppies and kittens have not yet built immunity. Also make sure you visit the vet with your four-legged companion to get all the necessary shots, especially if you plan to let him play with other family or neighborhood pets.
· Protect Your Pet From Unhealthy Foods. Make sure you buy pet food that is age-appropriate and recommended by your veterinarian. Also, remember that not all human foods are good for your pet. The caffeine in chocolate, for example, is toxic to dogs, so keep that treat for yourself!