How to Help Your Pet Feel at Home

Whether you have a new pet or you’re moving your pet to a new house, it’s important to make sure your pet feels comfortable and part of the household. Here are some ways to put out the welcome mat for your pet:



  • Give pets their own sleeping spot. Whether it’s a plush bed or simply a comfy spot on a towel or rug, most pets enjoy having a specified area to rest and to sleep. Try to follow your pet’s lead to see whether they prefer a sunny place in front of a window or a quiet corner in the back of the house. Once your pet has claimed a spot, he or she will take comfort and feel safe when they retreat to the area.


  • Have designated feeding times and places. Much like their sleeping spot, most pets like the routine of being fed at a regular time and place. Remember to always have fresh water available near the food bowls and to clean pet dishes regularly. It’s also a fun idea to keep veterinarian-approved treats in a bowl or container.


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  • Keep a selection of size-appropriate toys to encourage indoor play and activity. Set aside a basket, bin, or box to corral the toys and make tidying up easy.


  • Have a first aid kit on hand for your pet in case of sickness or an accident. There are various pre-assembled pet first-aid kits that you can purchase at pet stores, or you can put together your own. Gauze, bandages, hydrogen peroxide, and antibiotic ointment or spray are often recommended as basics for your kit. Ask your veterinarian for advice about other items to keep on hand. It’s a good idea to have your vet’s phone number and after-hours emergency contact information labeled inside the first aid kit for easy reference.


  • Make a file for important records that pertain to your pet, such as registration papers, vaccination documentation, prescriptions, and boarding forms. Having these records in one place will make referencing them easy when planning vacations or needing to provide medical information.


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  • Have a kennel or child’s safety gate for those times when you need to contain your pet. Sometimes it’s best to keep your pet in a safe, protected spot, such as when contractors work in your home, guests visit, or when pets are ill or just need some downtime.


  • Be sure to “pet-proof” your home to eliminate safety dangers. Store chemicals, medications, cleaning products, and laundry supplies on high shelves or where pets can’t access them. Keep electrical and phone wires contained to discourage chewing. The ASPCA has a list of houseplants that can be poisonous to pets.


  • When possible, introduce new noises slowly to your pet. If you get a new doorbell, stereo, or voice-controlled device, keep your pet close the first few times you activate the noise and speak calmly and reassuringly.


Many pets respond well to the structure of household rules, so don’t be afraid to have furniture that’s off-limits or behavior expectations when pets are inside with you. Be sure to respond with extra affection and praise when pets exhibit good behavior and always let them know they’re an important part of your home.