Thinking about getting a dog or cat for the family, but worried that it might destroy your home, furniture and belongings? Here's how to decide whether you're ready for a pet in the first place, and what you can do to protect your home from your new best friend.
Are you ready for a pet?
Many families get excited about the thought of cuddling and playing with a cute puppy or kitten, without considering how they will feel when the kitten becomes a cat who gets sick all over the duvet; or the puppy becomes a dog with an expensive medical condition. So before you think about how a pet might enhance your family's life, think about what kind of life your family will be able to give a pet. In addition to food and water, a healthy and happy pet will also need regular exercise, discipline, companionship, nutrition, and healthcare, among other things. Make sure you have the resources, time and energy to give a pet the life it deserves before bringing it into your home.
Find a good match:
Although owning any type of pet requires investment and commitment, not all pets come with the exact same requirements. Different pets and breeds have different needs and dispositions.
Tips for protecting your home from a pet's damage
Exercise your pet daily: Show me a bored or anxious animal, and I'll show you a pet who chews through furniture legs and scratches a hole in your favorite sweater. For the calmest disposition, and depending on the size and breed, dogs should be walked at least once daily.
Don't forget playtime: Similarly, both cats and dogs need regular play to keep their minds and bodies active, and to prevent them from taking out their anxiety on your rugs and chair legs. Purchase toys that are right for your pet's age and size, and teach them what's OK to play with, and what isn't.
Take time to train: Give your pet housebreaking training and teach it basic commands. For the best outcome, make sure the whole family is on board and consistent in reinforcing good behavior. If you're nervous about training a pet on your own, there are many classes and consultants available.
Pet-proof your home: Just like babies, puppies and kittens can and will get into everything. Take the time to inspect your home from their viewpoint, removing any potentially hazardous items (like plants or food) and securing anything they might try to investigate such as cabinets containing poisonous household cleaners and trash cans.
Protect your furniture: Whether you're looking to cover your entire couch or just protect your furniture legs from chewing and scratching, there are many options for keeping your furniture free from pet stains and damage. You can also find sprays and other tools that discourage pets from going near your furniture in the first place.
Keep them confined: Crate training is popular with many pet owners, and a pretty simple way to keep your pet from destroying things when you're not around. But even if you don't use a crate, it can be helpful to keep your pet from having the run of the house when you're not home by using a baby gate or simply keeping doors closed.
For any questions about home insurance, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.