Now that you’ve adopted a new fluffy playmate into your family, you’ll want to make sure you get Max or Fifi off to a healthy and happy start in their new home. Although dogs normally require more of an adjustment time than cats, with the proper upbringing and dedication you can have one of the most well-mannered pets on the block.
Help Familiarize Your New Pet
Your fuzzy friend has just scampered through the doorway of his new home for the first time. To get things off on the right paw, it’s important to take your pet around the house on a leash to show him where things are located, such as his food and water bowls, pet bed, toys, etc. It may also be a good idea to take Fido around the yard so that he can familiarize himself with his new outdoor surroundings.If you have a new cat, show her where her food, bed and litter box are located. You may even have to place her in her litter box to get her acclimated to her new environment.
Your new pet may hide or keep to one area of the home at first, but that’s normal. The more comfortable they become with you and their new surroundings, the more sociable and outgoing they will become.
Housetrain Your Pet
When dealing with housetraining, consistency is key. A new puppy may be unable to control his bladder for more than a few hours at a time, so it helps to establish a routine. Take your new puppy outside every couple hours after eating or drinking, naps or playtime. Praising and rewarding your puppy with a treat immediately after they’re done eliminating can help reinforce good elimination behavior.
Housetraining a new kitten is similar to housetraining a puppy: it’s important to communicate they’re doing the right thing by using their litter box. Petting, stroking or giving a kitten affection or a treat after using a litter box are all positive ways to letting her know she’s doing the right thing.
If you’ve adopted an older pet into your home, chances are they already have the basic house manners down.
Socializing Puppies and Kittens
If you have a new puppy, it’s important to introduce them to as many people and situations as possible. Puppies (or dogs) that have an extensive experience meeting different people are less likely to be frightened or bark if they encounter a person wearing a hat or carrying an umbrella, etc. Puppy kindergarten is a great way to get new puppies to mingle in a casual, friendly environment. A group class gives him the socialization he needs to build relationships with people and other dogs, as well as self-confidence.
Puppy kindergarten classes are also referred to as canine behavior classes or obedience clubs. Local pet stores such as Pet Smart and Pet Co., along with The Humane Society, offer a variety of classes from which to choose. Your veterinarian may have a list of reputable pet trainers to offer you as well.
Socializing a new kitten is not as involved as socializing puppies. Young kittens are rather flexible, usually easily adapting to their environment. However, there are also kitten kindergarten classes you can have your cat attend. Their goal is to socialize kittens and help prevent problem behaviors, such as scratching and aggression.
If you have a pet that is shy or timid around other people or animals, adding another pet to your home can help socialize your apprehensive pet, helping to modify his behavior and make him more outgoing.
Adding An Older Pet To Your Home
If you’ve adopted an older pet into your home, chances are they already have the basic house manners down. However, because of their age, they may have special nutritional requirements or health issues that need attended to. As with a pet of any age, you should schedule a check-up with your veterinarian to make sure your canine or feline companion is healthy.
Find a Qualified Veterinarian
Planning a trip to the veterinarian with your new four-legged friend is one of the most important things you can do. Veterinarians can detect or help prevent any potential health problems with your new pet. Normally, vaccinations are given during your animal’s first visit to the vet, helping to protect them against diseases.
Pet owners should schedule regular visits to the veterinarian throughout their pet’s life. Purchasing a pet insurance policy can help defray some of the costs for both annual wellness visits and disease treatments. Want to learn more? Click here.
If you liked this story, read more about how to choose the right pet for you, or how to adopt a special needs pet or a shelter pet.