Becoming a new pet parent is incredibly exciting. It can also be stressful when you are not sure how to prepare for their arrival. There are many essential items you’ll want to start thinking about and have ready at home for them—many of which can be easily overlooked. We all want our pets to feel safe and comfortable in their new home, so allow us to do the hard part for you.

Here’s what you can expect! Provided is a fun dog/cat essentials checklist to aid in your home prep! (As always, please make sure to consult with your veterinarian regarding your new pet’s health!)

Dog Essentials

  • Rope

  • Tennis Ball

  • Stimulus toy — allows for engaging, interactive playtime; a momentary cure for boredom.

  • “No-Hide Chews”

  • “Benebone Maplestick Dog Chew”

  • Training Treats

  • Nutritionally complete dog food

  • Food bowl

  • Water bowl

Other Dog Essentials
  • Poop bags — be environmentally-friendly with “Earth-rated poop bags”!

  • Kennel — big enough for dog to stand up and move around freely

  • Bed

  • Harness

  • Leash — retractables can be dangerous for both you and your pet and are not recommended.

  • Brush for grooming

  • Nail trimmer — if no professional grooming is necessary

  • Food storage bin(s) — keeps the dry food fresh after opening the bag.

Home Prep:

  • Tie up loose electric cords.

  • Move valuables and chocking hazards up higher.

  • If fencing, check for holes/gaps.

  • If no fencing, have on-leash walking route in mind.

Cat Essentials

  • Feather wand(s)

  • Cat kicker(s) — longer toys that allow cat to exhibit natural predatory kicking behavior.

  • Stimulus toy — allows for engaging, interactive playtime;  a momentary cure for boredom.

  • Cat nip

  • Other

  • Nutritionally complete dry food

  • Nutritionally complete wet food — cats don’t drink as much water as dogs but need adequate hydration.

  • Food bowl

  • Water bowl — or kitty water fountain if you’re feeling frisky; they love it!

Other Cat Essentials
  • Cat litter

  • Litterboxes — recommend one additional litterbox per cat depending on the size of your home (especially if 2 or more levels). Ex: 2 cats = 3 boxes

  • Cat carrier

  • Bed/Hideaway/Cat House — cats prefer to be higher up when lounging or napping.

  • Brush for grooming

  • Nail trimmer — if not going to the vet for regular nail trims.

  • Scratching post — recommend the “SmartCat Combination Scratcher”.

  • Food storage bin(s) — keeps the dry food fresh after opening the bag.

Home Prep:

Inside Only
  • Tie up loose electric cords.

  • Have an acceptable up-high, safe-haven for your cat to retreat away from other pets like dogs, or to enjoy the birds near a window.

  • Store away small valuables like jewelry and/or hair ties.

Preparing for your new family member doesn’t have to be super challenging. In fact, preparing is what we do best here at Companion Protect! In addition to preparing your home for your dog or cat, don’t leave their health and wellness at the wayside. Be prepared for the unexpected with Companion Protect pet insurance—fetch your quote here.

Shayne Storey with her friend, Helga, the pig!SHAYNE STOREY
Marketing Specialist

Shayne has a few years experience in digital marketing, content creation and animal care, with her previous role as New Media Intern at The Humane League. In her free-time she loves to cycle (with her dog on her back) and practice yoga. A social cause she cares about is climate change, the welfare of factory farmed animals, and racial equality. Her favorite food is vegan mac & cheese.