Bringing home a new pet is an exciting adventure! If you're adopting a kitten or a puppy, taking in this new member of your family can be a trying time -- after all, they're a lot like infants in that they have no idea what boundaries are yet! Preventing pet-related destruction doesn't take a lot of high-tech equipment, but it does take some perseverance and forethought about what your new furry friend might like to try and destroy.
Animal-proofing your house should happen right away, and even before you bring the kitten or puppy home. Make sure that all access to garbage and all food products is barred to curious paws and noses. Block off fragile objects or put them up on a high, solid surface. Put up barriers to prevent your pets from entering rooms that you cannot (or don't want to) pet-proof, such as baby gates or cardboard boxes. Remember: puppies chew and cats jump, so you'll want to make sure the barriers are high and/or solid enough to prevent them getting past!
Don't leave out sponges for kittens! Baby cats are known for tearing bright, fluffy things apart -- hence the reason most cat toys for kittens are bright and fluffy -- so your sponges are just playtime waiting to happen. If your cat exhibits a tendency to jump, you may want to block off any counter space where they could hop up in the kitchen and make trouble with your food or dishes. Large boxes with no squeezing room should be sufficient for keeping them down.
Don't leave out leather for puppies! Dogs love to chew on just about anything, but leather holds a special place in their hearts because it has a natural scent similar to meat. Make sure you buy them toys that they are allowed to gnaw on to their heart's content, and scold them when they choose your things over their own. If you have leather furniture in your house, it's best to keep the puppy out of the room where it resides, just to avoid trouble.
Don't leave wires exposed! Pets are more than happy to gnaw on cords, even after they reach adulthood -- and if there are exposed wires amidst the cords, they could get electrocuted! Tie up the cords as best you can and tuck them places where your pets cannot reach, such as behind desks. Regularly check them to make sure your pet has not found a way to chew!
Once your pet has progressed in his or her training, why not take them along on your next garage saling trip, to meet people and socialize with other animals?