Pets can be great protectors, companions, and family-members. They can also take a toll on your home. Follow these simple guidelines to ensure that your furry friend can add to your life, not take away from it.

First and foremost, if you are responsible for a pet, make sure they've had their shots and any other preventative medicines. Protecting them, yourself, your family, and any visitors you may have is of the utmost importance.

Keep up on cleaning up. Pets shed, track in dirt, cause spills, and have other accidents. If you clean up after them as soon as possible, it is less likely that stains will set, smells will linger, and grunge will be driven in to your home.

If pets are confined in your yard, regularly check the condition of gates and fences for weak spots. You want to make sure that they remain in your designated space, as much for the safety of passersby as for your pet's. If your dog bites someone, it could have serious implications on your homeowners insurance and some insurance companies will not insure people whose dogs have bite histories.

If your dog exhibits any aggressive behavior, consider training or obedience school. You may also want to keep them as a primarily indoor pet. As a last resort, consider putting your pet up for adoption or asking animal control authorities for help. If you know of any animals you believe to be dangerous, report them to animal control.

This information has been provided by Financial Wisdom Marketing Services, Inc. and is for educational purposes only.  Content from Financial Wisdom and/or Redwood Credit Union is not, in any way, intended to provide legal, tax, or financial advice.