Bringing Your Pet Home

Bringing Your Pet Home
Toilet training

When it comes to training your pet to do their business in the correct location, patience is definitely a virtue. Be consistent and stick to a routine. If you have a dog then let them outside at the same times every day – first thing in the morning, last thing at night and after meals is a good place to start. Stay with them to bolster their confidence, but wait ‘in the wings’ until they are finished. Most kittens are trained to use the litter box before they go to their new homes. If you need to reinforce this training then place them in the litter tray after waking and meals. Using a litter box does go against a cats’ natural instinct so once they are settled you may find they prefer to do their business outdoors. With both dogs and cats, positive behavior reinforcement by way of praise, attention, affection and treats is the quickest and easiest way to get them trained.

Take the day off and limit visitors for a while

If you can, taking the day off to spend with your new pet is an ideal way to help them settle in to their new home. It is crucial to give you and your pet time to get to know one another without outside pressures.
Try and limit new visitors to the house to a minimum until your pet has settled in. It is most important that your pet gets to bond with you and your family first of all.


Prepare children

Children are naturally curious creatures and will no doubt be extremely excited by the arrival of your new pet. Explain to them that animals take some time to adjust to a new environment and may be scared, nervous and wary of them for a few days. Take the time to educate your children how to treat your pet with the care and respect that they deserve.

Adopting an older pet?

If you are adopting an older pet it is prudent to try and find out as much as possible about the history of the animal. You will then know what sort of temperament and behavior to expect. You will also know any considerations that you may need to make. For example some pets that have gone hungry when living with previous owners can be guarded, possessive or even aggressive at feeding times and need to be given space to eat.

Exercising your dog

When exercising your dog do not let him off the lead for at least the first 4 weeks. Begin training him to return to you when called by gently pulling his lead towards you. Retractable leads are very useful for this. Reward his successful return with lots of praise and affection.
When you feel that your dog is ready to be let off the lead, begin in a secure fenced location until you are completely sure that he will return to you when called. Make sure he has a secure means of identification, either in the form of a collar and tag or ideally a microchip.

Letting your feline outside

Before you let your cat or kitten outside for the first time ensure that she has adequate identification either in the form of a collar and tag or ideally a microchip. Cats can wander quite far from home and you want to make sure you can be contacted if she gets lost.

You will need to consider your immediate environment before you let your kitten or cat outdoors. If you live near a busy road then you may wish to limit her time outdoors to quieter traffic times.

Once outside your kitten is vulnerable to diseases so you should wait until at least a week after she has finished her first course of vaccinations (approx. 13/14 weeks of age). You should also ensure that spaying or neutering has been done before letting them roam.

You can train your cat to respond to you calling her by offering praise and goodies such as tuna chunks or commercial cat treats.

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