Owning a pet is one of life’s most rewarding experiences.
But failing to pet-proof your home could spell disaster for your pet and you.
RSPCA Northern Region Senior Manager Donna Hough said a safe environment was essential for pets.
"Check and secure your home in the same way you would if you had small children," Hough said.
Hough said water can be another hazard.
"Always make sure the toilet lid is down as cats in particular have a tendency to jump right in," she said.
Water bowls should be filled appropriately so that animals can’t drown and mop buckets need to be emptied − especially if they still contain cleaning product in them.
Of course pet-proofing your home isn’t just about safety, it’s about the overall happiness of your pet (not to mention your sanity as an owner).
It's vital to your pet's happiness and temperament to make their new home as comfortable as possible in those first few days.
Above all, Hough stresses that successfully integrating a new pet into the family is down to "preparing in advance to allow enough time with your pet as it adjusts to its unfamiliar surroundings − and a healthy dose of patience!"
Keep these pointers in the forefront of your mind and you and your new pet will be set up for many years of happiness together.