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5 Top Tips for Settling in Your New Pet

By Tracey Munn

First of all, remember that like us, pets have unique personalities.

Sure, each animal species has characteristics typical to them. However, your pet will also have their own personality so be prepared for that to be the case.

If you have adopted an older pet, please be aware that there may be a longer adjustment time. You really don’t know what your pet’s journey was like before you took them in. As an owner of an adopted cat, 2 years down the track he is a completely different pet than when he was first introduced. Be patient, love and time will do wonders.

For now, to help you settle in with your new pet, I am going to share some advice to help you and your pet settle in quickly.

Puppies

  • Positive Reinforcement. I cannot stress this enough! If you try and train your pup by using negative tones and physical violence you will end up with an adult dog who develops major issues that need attention of their own.
  • When your pup does something you do not like, stop the behavior and try to engage them in another activity. When they do successfully stop the unwanted and start the wanted behaviour, reward them with a treat and positive reinforcement.
  • Do NOT play rough, puppies grow into big dogs who still want to play rough – but hurt.
  • Do NOT lock your pup away in a dark isolated area as this will scare them. During the evening have a little night light or a little ticking clock that copies mums heartbeat sound – pop the clock under a blanket, they will soon snuggle in quickly for nap time.
  • Get some wee wee pads. However until your puppy is toilet trained keep your pup close by so you can watch them and act quickly. Train them to go outside (on a leash) after each meal for toilet time.

 

Dogs 

  • Give your adopted dog space. As I mentioned earlier, you may not know what your dog’s journey was, or how your dog was treated, prior to coming home to live with you. They are wiser than a puppy and may take longer to trust you. Let them sniff around, give them time to belong.
  • Positive Reinforcement. This applies to older dogs (12 months plus) as much as puppies. There may be more accidents or unwanted behaviour from your adopted dog, so ensure you discourage unwanted behaviour in your new dog by engaging them in a wanted behavior and rewarding – as this will reinforce to your pet they are being good. And dogs love to please.
  • Find out what the shelter/previous owner was feeding your dog and keep this going if possible. Ween them off the old food slowly as an abrupt change in diet could be mentally and physically unsettling.
  • Walk your dog once a day. If it is a little dog, walk them up the street. If you have a big dog, walk them further. Even if you have a large backyard, a walk, on a leash, teaches your dog discipline as well as giving them different scenery to look at and a chance to spend quality time with you.
  • Teach your puppy that you are the pack leader.

 

Kittens 

  • Kittens are different than puppies. I know, this is stating the obvious, but it is important to remember that you need to treat a kitten differently than a puppy. A kitten is smaller than a pup (usually), and can be left alone in a small space. It is a good idea to pop them in a space like the laundry with their litter tray, food and water – they will quickly know this is their room.
  • Be patient with litter. Different kittens like different litter. However, try and use the litter the breeder was using. And your kitten must have easy access to the litter tray.
  • Kittens love to scratch. But those little claws can do a world of damage. Keep treats handy so when they do scratch in the right spot they are rewarded for it.
  • Snuggle up. Remember, kittens love nice little warm places to snuggle. Your kitten will sleep a lot and will love it if they have a special place or bed that suits their size.
  • Get on the ground, look around, see what your kitten sees. If it is loose then remove or secure it. A kitten will get into everything, especially those little chains than hold together Vertical Blinds.

 

Cats 

  • I am going to assume you have adopted your cat. Whether it be from a shelter or previous owner, if you have taken in your new cat from elsewhere – you have adopted a cat.
  • The first thing to do is put your cat in the room you have allocated as their space. Have their bed, food, water and litter tray in this room. Shut the door and leave them for a few hours as this will help them settle in a lot faster.
  • Litter tray tips for mature cats – if possible use the litter your cat is used to. Keep a nice distance between the litter tray and the food too. And clean out the litter tray at least once a day.
  • Do not smother your cat. There is a saying – you own a dog, a cat owns you. If your cat wants a cuddle or a pat they will come to you. If they don’t, they wont.
  • If scratching is a problem – there are many ways to stop a cat scratching, or to minimise the damage. A scratching post or ramp are essential. Keep a bag of treats close by and each time your cat scratches where they are supposed to, reward them with a treat. Soon it will be the only place they scratch.

 

A pet is an incredible gift and can bring all the love in the world. Treat them well.

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