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Saturday, April 02, 2016

How To Integrate A New Pet Into Your Home

Well, this is certainly a "yuge" topic with lots of different and valid opinions, isn't it?

Let's start with an article from one of our favorite holistic veterinarians, Dr. Karen Becker, that describes the thinking process that should precede adding a new family member to your home, and then the best strategies to follow as the little rascal is settling in. We love writing about this topic because there are so many things we Parental Unit didn't do!

With hindsight, we think that emotions get in the way of clear thinking, and you know, there's really nothing wrong with that. It's just helpful to remember some of the basics, or in Parental Unit's case, learn some of the basics before bringing your new pet home. She was still grieving the loss of her beloved Wire Fox fella, Carson, when she went searching at the shelter four or five weeks later. She was beside herself without a dog, she claims! (Parental Unit also might have had just a few hormones left at that time).

Here are a few of the  behaviors (hers) that Parental Unit regrets when she introduced me to my new home (most of these ideas are taken from Cesar's Way and involve setting "rules, boundaries and limitations" from day one:

1. Not taking me for a long-ish walk in the neighborhood before bringing me in the house for the first time;

2. Not walking me through each room and letting me explore while still on a leash (rather than on my own!); and

3. Not understanding that it takes  a pretty long time—not usually days, but weeks or even months or longer, for a dog or cat to really feel safe and comfortable in their new home. She was shocked, shocked, I tell you, that I still tried to "run away" on several occasions during the first few months in my new residence—she ran screaming after me through the streets more than once! And she distinctly recalls that I tried to raid garbage cans during our walks—like I was still scavenging for food... Hoo boy, she had a lot to learn!

Here are some additional ideas for the first 30 days of dog adoption from Petfinder.com that should help you successfully add a new furry family member.

Let us know your best strategies for integrating a new pet into your home—including any mistakes or smart moves you might have made. We'd love to hear them!


The Daily Pip said...

Oh gosh, we have made lots of mistakes and some happy accidents. Since many of our pets over the years (including Pip) started off as foster animals, the biggest mistake is not facing the fact that I'm not best person to foster. Ruby was actually a formal adoption - but our two cats and rabbit all started as fosters as did Pip.

The Daily Pip said...

We are a family of foster failures, but I guess there are worse things. LOL

Bocci said...

Oh, being a "foster failure" is tops in our book!

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