Deb D’Andrea, Nederland. The holiday season is upon us, and it’s that time of year when several of my friends are adopting new furry family members to kick off the New Year. Some are adding these bundles of joy to their families who have children, or have an older dog or cat that has been the only pet.
As with any life change, the first couple weeks can be filled with tension as everyone learns how to communicate with each other; figures out who’s who in the household hierarchy; and discovers how the various personalities interact. Having a well-behaved pet to help train the newcomer makes a big difference in the new pet’s understanding of your household’s daily routine. If you don’t have another pet in the house as a role model, its good practice to start training from day one, and set a routine you both can follow.
Daily training is a great bonding experience that also provides mental exercise to help release some of that puppy energy, which your older pets will appreciate. Three basic training words to begin with are “come,” which means come when called 100% of the time; “wait,” stay quietly while things are going on around you until called; and “stay,” stay quietly while things are going on around you until I walk back to you.
Walking on leash is a lifelong necessity if you travel with your pup or cat; and I only use a harness versus a collar with my Girls. These basics help you in our world, and help you take your pet with you wherever you go.
Introducing new pets into the household can stir up issues not witnessed before with older pets. Recognizing issues before they blow up and working through them is important to ensure everyone can get along for life. Sometimes, just like with humans, issues surface that are not resolvable and re-homing is sad, but necessary, for the safety of everyone.
Many foster and adoption groups will provide you the option to return a pet should things go south. Hopefully, that won’t happen. Through proper initial introductions and plenty of attention given to the original pets, you may sidestep your pet’s feelings of jealously which can be experienced when newcomers get all the attention and the older pet is left to the wayside.
Best of luck with your new adopted family member; one that will offer a lifetime of love. Till next time. Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz, provides mobile Canine Massage, Canine Agility and Petz Nanny Services for dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses, and other critters. 4TheLuvOfDogz home-made dog treats are sold at local stores, and K9Birthday Cakes are available direct. Contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email@example.com for more information.