Bringing home an emotional support animal is a big and exciting decision that calls for proper scheduling, planning and household preparation. If you are bringing home a shelter puppy or kitten, chances are you may be exposing yourself and your family to respiratory issues, parasites or worms. Before introducing an emotional support animal to its new home, make sure your animal is up to date with its vaccinations. Consult your veterinarian and ask for their recommendations about any suggestions and precautions that you need to take.
Getting Your Home Ready
Dogs and cats are common emotional support animals and they are curious creatures. Most of them are capable of squeezing into the tiniest of spaces or jumping on high surfaces. To protect both the animal and your belongings, it is important you pet-proof the place. Never think that your emotional support animal is incapable or ‘too cute’ to do something hazardous. Accidents happen!
After you have chosen a spot where you will care for your emotional support guests, check out the area thoroughly for any small injurious items, like needles, pins, nails, paper clips, rubber bands, toxic/caustic chemicals, plants, strings, thread, and any other item that may pose a threat to the physical health of your new friend.
Keep in mind that animals are especially attracted to electrical cords, curtains, telephone cords, and TV cords. All these items should either be secured or placed somewhere where your ESA cannot hurt itself. Also, look out for small holes or other harmful items that you might have missed when pet-proofing your home.
1. Bathrooms/Kitchens/Utility Rooms
- Use childproof latches to prevent curious paws from snapping the cabinets open
- Place cleaners, medications, laundry supplies and chemicals on childproof shelves or on higher surfaces
- Keep dustbins and trashcans shut or inside a latched cabinet
- Block any tiny spaces, holes, nooks and crannies inside furniture, cabinetry, appliances, etc. where your emotional support animal may hide. Furthermore, ensure that the spaces behind the dryer/washer unit are closed shut to prevent the risk of mischief there as well.
- Make it a point to ALWAYS keep you washers and dryers closed. Also, make sure your ESA hasn’t jumped into the unit before turning it on.
- Store all your food in a cabinet or out of reach. Even if the food isn’t harmful to your pet friend, the wrapper could be.
- Always shut toilets lids after every use to prevent your ESA from drowning, especially if it’s a small species, like a guinea pig or a baby chicken.
2. Family/Living Room
- Store children’s toys away to prevent choking hazards
- Move houseplants away as some them can be poisonous
- If you have other ESAs or pets, like fish or birds, keep their cages or bowls away from the prying paws.
- Most garages are home to dangerous chemicals, cleaning supplies and unsafe items. It is therefore your job to ensure your pet is never allowed in the garage.
- Clean all antifreeze from the driveway and floor as one taste of it can prove lethal for an animal
4. Other Tips to Keep In Mind
- Keep porous household items, like carpets and furry pillows, especially clean since they can harbor various diseases.
- If you have a yard, keep it clean and free of holes, and other potentially injurious items like lawnmowers, gardening hoes, fertilizers and potted plants (as they can be toxic).
- Make sure to never leave your ESA unattended, especially when he is new and untrained.
About The Author: Brad Smith is an animal enthusiast and content writer for the Emotional Support Animal Co., a company that makes connecting with a therapist easy for people wanted to obtain proper Emotional Support Animal documents.