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Pets in the Home

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I love sharing these suggestions for making your Christmas Holiday simple and fun.

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Welcome Your Pet; Housebreaking; Socializing

Congratulations if you have decided to welcome a furry friend into your life but also welcome them inside your home.

Animals are amazingly good at adapting to your routine. Do not scold or punish them, simply show them what you want them to do. Place their bed in one place, set their food and water in one place. Show your cat where its litter box is and don't keep moving it around.

Outdoors in your own fenced backyard, do not pick up dog waste right away, leave it there so they know their spot and will routinely know to wait and go outside and not make mistakes indoors.

Be patient, the pet must adjust to their environment. They are a loving ball of fur that thrives on love, attention, and care.

When I brought my new puppy home, I let her explore the enclosed backyard and then put her inside the garage at night where the temperature was mild. I made a bed on the floor with her food and water dishes. The next morning she was not sure I would be there to let her out and she urinated in the garage. No worries. I let her out into the fenced backyard to explore while I cleaned the garage. My dog quickly learned the routine. She knew I would be there each morning to let her out into the backyard and she stopped urinating in the garage. I then got her used to being inside the house and she depended on me to let her out for breaks and never made any mistakes inside the house.

This is the same for apartment dwellers. Keep your animals on a routine. Your dog needs an exercise schedule and will get used to you being home at the same time each day. Take your dog for a walk before bedtime too, and they should be okay through the night. Clean out litter boxes daily so your cat will use them routinely.

Sign up for a local dog training course. They will help socialize the dog and you will learn from experts how to handle your dog on a leash or harness and interact with other people with dogs in a safe and fun environment.

Have a backup plan for emergencies in case you can't be home for your pet. Enlist a friend, neighbor, or family member to help so your animal does not panic if you break the routine.

Crates, Pet Carriers, and Leashes

When you adopted your furry friend, you no doubt transported them in a pet carrier unless perhaps it was a large, full-grown dog on a leash.

Pet carriers or crates are important to transport your animal to a veterinarian's office or in cases of an emergency where you need to safely remove the pet from the house.

Most medium to large size dogs can be handled on a leash, smaller dogs can be safely transported in a pet carrier. However, be aware that for dogs six months or younger, most experts agree that you must only use a harness because the muscles or ligaments on the back of the neck are not yet fully developed and can be damaged by a collar pressing on that area if they pull on their leash.

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Get your kitten used to its pet carrier so it will not panic when you need to travel or go to the veterinarian's office. Cats will panic when they leave their house, so make sure to put them in a pet carrier to prevent them from running away and being lost forever.

Crates should not be used solely as training devices. Do not be fooled by breeders who tell you to do this. It's a way for an unscrupulous breeders to quickly unload their overstock of animals onto novice pet owners who think they can skip the training of their animals and simply throw them in cages and later wonder why their animals have behavioral problems.

Commercial or exhibition animals are routinely crated due to traveling for many miles by automobile, plane, or train. However, for the pet companion animal, crating is unnecessary and the animal will not be properly socialized. Do not be the novice that doesn't want to take the time to bond with their animal and train them on how to behave in public and in your home.

Your Home is Their Home Too

Your pet is a part of your life and must be comfortable in your home. When you leave them alone, be sure to have toys and treats on the floor in their area that are specifically made for pets and the package specifies they are safe for animals. Keep a television on low volume or play videos on your computer on auto-repeat so the animal can hear talking and not be anxious.

If you do not want your animal in certain rooms of your house, then keep the doors shut. Maybe you don't want them in the bathrooms, simply keep the doors shut. Do not traumatize the animal by attempting to "train" them to not enter certain rooms or jump on certain furniture. Just keep doors shut and put washable decorative coverings on sofas or chairs that match the color of your pet. Use a sticky roller to pick up pet hair on sofas or chairs or use a damp paper towel to pick up dust and pet hair from counter tops or window sills.

Always keep kittens on the floor in a play area. Some people use those very large portable wire pet safe enclosures for kittens so they don't get trapped somewhere inside your home or mistakenly escape outdoors. Remember that the kitten that never learns to hop on counters or fireplace mantels, will not be destructive when they get older.

I adopted a stray cat that never learned to be destructive. It was a grown cat and she adapted quickly to her litter box and where her food and water were kept. She was welcome on all my furniture and never scratched it because she never learned that behavior as a kitten.

Never allow a pet unattended around children. Adult supervision is always needed to teach the child to treat the animal with kindness.

Give your pets a soft comfortable place all their own so they feel safe and secure and not become destructive inside your home.

Give your pets a soft comfortable place all their own so they feel safe and secure and not become destructive inside your home.

Protect Breakables and Furniture in Your Home

Purchase acrylic or tempered glass display cases with locks for all your collectibles and items that are fragile to keep them away from your pet. Purchase a coffee table or end tables that are made of clear, unbreakable glass or plastic to store your decorative items, books, or magazines that you want to keep away from your pets yet still have them on display. Cover a couch with cotton denim material that can be easily washed. If your pets scratch your furniture, scheduling regular play-times may solve the problem. Buy a few scratching posts or cat trees at pet supply stores to keep the cats busy and content. Purchase inexpensive carpet remnants matching your decor and scatter them around your house so they can be used as scratching pads. Place catnip on them and it will attract your cat to the carpet remnants and not to your furniture, area rugs or other floor coverings.

Always supervise children around pets for safety and help the child grow up without a fear of animals.

Always supervise children around pets for safety and help the child grow up without a fear of animals.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Nancy M

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