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I'm home, what do I do now? PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Housebreaking your dog.
How to crate train your pet.
Helpful tips on bringing your new cat home.

Housebreaking your dog.

Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, here are some housebreaking tips.

When your first take him home, keep a watchful eye on him while in your house. Let him walk around dragging the leash. If he starts to sniff, circle, squat, or lift his leg, say, "No" firmly, but not loudly or he will become fearful of you. Then, take him outside where you want him to go. Praise him when he goes. If you can't watch him, confine him either in a crate or the kitchen (read more about crate training below).

Put your dog on a schedule--usually feeding twice a day. Do not give him any food after 6:00pm. Any food after that may give him an unexpected urge to go after bedtime. Same thing with water. Don't let him drink past 8:00pm. Offer him water before you take him out in the morning. Always use the same door and take him to the same area to eliminate.

During the first few weeks, take him out on a regular schedule: after he wakes up in the morning or after a nap, after meals, when you return after having left him alone, before and after playing or training sessions, and right before you put him to bed. Always praise him for eliminating outside.

Never reprimand him for soiling the carpet when you're not there. He won't remember what he did and he will be confused.

Your dog wants very much to please you. It is with patience and kindness that you will get the point across. You will both reap the rewards. Enjoy your new pet!

How to crate train your pet.

Like any other form of dog training, crate training requires time and patience. You are teaching your pet how to behave, and it takes time for your furry friend to learn to distinguish right from wrong.

Dog crates are made of rigid plastic, heavy wire mesh, or aluminum. They must be well ventilated and sturdy with no sharp edges on the inside to injure your pet. Buy a generously-sized crate for your pet. In order for it to become your pet's home, the crate must be comfortable, large enough to allow your pet to stretch out flat on his side (without hitting his head), and he should be able to stand comfortably and turn around inside his crate. Although you don't want the crate to be enormous, it's better to use a crate that is too large rather than too small.

A primary use for a crate is as a housebreaking aid. Being basically clean, a healthy pet raised in frequently cleaned surroundings will not want to dirty his own area. Confined to his crate, he is going to make a fuss and demand to be let out in order not to soil his crate. If he is removed from it and promptly carried outside, the positive aspects of housetraining are constantly reinforced. Your pet will require an early morning outing, but he can then be returned to his crate with a toy or pressed chew stick for amusement.

Place the crate in a quiet corner of a busy room, such as the family room or kitchen. Your pet will not feel isolated or that he is being punished with the crate if he is around other people or in a busy room. If you have two pets, both should be crated (in separate crates) at the same time, so the crated pet won't end up struggling to join his counterpart "on the loose" in the same room, or crate the pet in a separate room with the door closed so he can't see the other pets in the household. Line the bottom of the crate with a blanket or rug, and provide something to chew on and a few toys. In just a few days, your pet should look forward to spending time in the crate and venture inside of it by choice.

Crating an unsupervised pet provides safety for him as well as family possessions. The cost of the crate will be saved many times over. When the pet is out of the crate he should receive constant supervision and develop desired house behavior right from the start. By the time he is permitted more freedom, he will be past the chewy, teething stage without ever having learned that remodeling chair legs can be fun! Also, your pet must learn that he cannot always be underfoot. When he comes in wet or muddy - the crate is a handy place to dry off, when the floor is being washed and waxed - he is safe and temporarily out of the way and if non-doggy friends arrive - your pet can be put in the crate for a convenient nap.

Start your crate training off on the right "paw" by introducing your pet to his new crate gradually. Give your pet an opportunity to "go" before he is put in the crate. During the first weeks, give your pet a treat when he enters the crate so he learns to associate good things with his little home. Stay near and offer words of praise and encouragement.

Begin your crate training schedule by putting your pet in the crate for small increments of time. Never let him out when he is barking. If the barking continues non-stop, the pet should be verbally reprimanded and then praised once he stops. Don't let him think that by barking and whining, he can get his way. Leave him in the crate for 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutes, eventually working up to a half hour "crate time."

Alternate "crate time" with periods of play and opportunities for your pet to "go." Once he is trained, your pet can be put in the crate for one-to-two hour periods at regular intervals throughout the day, probably during his naptime or when he will be left alone. A pet may be in a crate an even longer amount of time while you're out of the house.

Accustom your pet gradually to being in his crate while you are in another room. Never use the crate as a means of punishing your dog or it will be useless as a training tool. A crate should be a supplement to, not a substitute for, your love and attention.

Don't give your pet any water after 8:00pm and take him outside to "go" before you turn in for the night. Ideally, you should move the crate into your bedroom and let your pet sleep inside the crate all night. When you hear his "wake-up call," take him outside immediately.

Helpful tips on bringing your new cat home.

The first thing you should know is that most cats hate to travel. It is important to always have your cat in a sturdy pet carrier so that he will not get in the way while you are driving. Don't be surprised if your new cat is not happy after his car ride.

It is important to select a quiet, closed-in room to introduce your cat to its new surroundings. Make sure that there is a litter box, food and water in the room for your pet. By keeping your pet in this one room for a few days, it will give him time to get acquainted with all the new smells and noises in your house, especially if you already have other pets. Over the next few days, slowly introduce your new cat to the rest of the house.

Cats naturally prefer a clean environment, and most will instinctively know how to use the litter box. For those that don't know right away, you can help the process along by placing the cat in the litter box and make scratching motions with his front paws to help him get the idea. It is important that you clean the litter box daily or several times a week to ensure that your cat keeps using the box properly. Nail clipping, ear and teeth cleaning are a few ways you can help your cat with his grooming rituals.

As a pet owner, you are responsible for providing your new cat with safety and security. Make sure all windows are securely screened, the washer and dryer are kept closed and checked before every use, and get in the habit of checking drawers, cabinets and closets before you close them so you won't accidentally close your pet inside. For the security of you and your pet, always keep a collar and tag on your cat. Accidents happen and if your cat should get outside by mistake, it will be easier to identify him and get him back home safely.

As with other pets, it is important to keep your new cat vaccinated. This helps to keep your new pet healthy. Your vet can help you with what vaccinations your cat needs and when they need them. It is also a good idea to take your new pet to the vet within one week of adopting it to ensure that the pet is healthy. If your new cat has not been spayed or neutered yet, make an appointment to do so as soon as possible. There are too many unwanted kittens and cats that get euthanized at shelters every month. Please don't let your new cat add to the problem.

Remember that when training your cat, yelling never works. If your cat is scratching the furniture, give him a scratching post to use. You can also use a squirt gun filled with water to reprimand your cat. Make sure you have lots of toys for your new pet to play with, this will help to keep you cat from getting bored and destructive.

Above all, enjoy your new cat and give him the love he needs. In no time you will have a new loving furry friend in your life.


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