Bringing a new pet into your home can be an exciting time. Whether it's an adult you have adopted from a shelter, or a brand new baby just learning manners, they are loving and fun. The first few weeks you spend with your new addition sets the stage for his behavior for the rest of his life. Making the time and financial commitment to do things right is critical to a happy relationship. Here are some tips to ensure your new pet is well-behaved and healthy.
Pet-Proof your Home
Before bringing your pet home, go through your house and move or remove things that can pose a temptation or danger to your pet. If your family is accustomed to leaving things lying around - like remote controls, shoes or small games pieces - it's a good time to teach them new habits as well. Pay particular attention to poisonous plants or toxic items a new pet might be able to access.
Arrange a Vet Check-Up
Within the first week of bringing your pet home, you should take it to a veterinarian for a complete checkup. Even if you have been assured the pet is healthy and has had all its vaccinations, a vet visit will establish a base line by which to compare your pet's future health.
Enroll in Training Classes
Especially for dogs, training is essential. Take advantage of professional instruction to help you use the best techniques to ensure good behavior and safety. Even if your dog is no longer a puppy, professional training classes can help break bad habits.
Socialize your Pet
Some of the most common behavioral problems with dogs and cats stem from not being properly socialized to people and other animals. Begin working on this right away by arranging your pet to come in contact with others. Start slowly by allowing people strange to the pet to handle them for short periods at a time. Take your dog for walks and let him sniff other dogs in the neighborhood.
Crate Train your Pet
Crate training your pet has many advantages other than just ensuring your pet isn't destructive while you're away. It also provides him with a safe retreat when he feels threatened or afraid. Having a pet that is accustomed to a crate also allows you to transport him safely to vet appointments or on trips.
The decision to get a pet requires a substantial commitment of both time and money. The first few weeks he is with you can be the most important of his life.
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