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Bringing Home Your New Pet

Karen Hapgood

Getting a new pet is exciting for all! If you are single this is a new buddy/side kick. Someone to run with; watch TV with, or just go out cruising. If you have a family you have just acquired a new protector, clown, confidant, and playmate for you and your children.

As excited as the human family is; remember how stressed and afraid your new pet may be. When preparing for your new pet set aside a few days to be at home to help your new pet get settled in. Find a permanent place for the food and water bowls. Have a crate handy with plenty of bedding. This crate will serve as a potty training aid as well as a private, safe place for your pet to go when he/she feels overwhelmed. Get a variety of toys so your pet will stay entertained rather than find his or her own amusement with your furniture or drapes.

On the first day – slowly introduce your pet to areas of the house they are allowed to be in. Show them the correct door to go to when a potty break is necessary. Potty breaks in the beginning should be done every 2 hours; when they first wake up, within 20 minutes of finishing a meal, and just before bedtime. I recommend that you remove food and water at least 2-3 hours prior to bedtime. Potty breaks should last a minimum of 20 minutes. Remember everything outside is new and adventurous so sometimes it takes a while for ‘Spot’ to remember why he is out there.

These first few days are also the time to set limits. Is your pet going to be allowed on the furniture? On the beds? In the kitchen?

Using gentle but firm commands for any type of correction will serve you better in the long run. Yelling and hitting may be an automatic reaction for some but will only make your pet fearful of you. Never ever call your pet to you to correct them. It will only make them unsure the next time you call him.

Please take your time and be patient. It will pay off in the long run.

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