There are a lot of new pets coming home. Dr. Reed Stevens says it’s a good time because there are a lot of people around and it’s a tough time, particularly for a young dog. It’s a hard time to socialize them. Dr. Stevens has these tips for you.
Try and keep your house on a low ley level; not too much excitement; not too much play time. Let the pet tell you when they want to play.
If there are young children, they will want to get the puppy out of the crate all of the time. That is going to cause some stress. Let the pet chill and one of the best ways to do that says Dr. Stevens is to find a smaller part of your house that the pet can start to identify as his den. That will also help with house training.
If there are other pets in the house take that slowly. Introduce them very slowly. Dr. Stevens says he likes to take a towel and rub down one pet and then rub down the other pet and do the reverse to let them smell each other before they actually meet each other.
Make a plan. Talk to the family about who is going to do what in the household. Who is going to clean the litter box; who is going to do the feeding; who is going to do the walking; who is going to clean up if there is a mistake? Dr. Stevens says it is really important that everyone has a job and that everyone knows what their role is.
Make sure you call your veterinarian. It’s now booking, with COVID, 3-4 weeks out for many vets, particularly for new clients. He says many veterinarians aren’t taking new clients in Western New York so make sure you get that booked ahead of time. You want to get your pet into the vet to make sure there are healthy; check their shot records and make sure they have everything they need.
Consider pet insurance. Dr. Stevens says he read the other day from ASPCA that a cat or dog can cost over $20,000 - $40,000 in their lifetime for full care and high-quality pet food; so you might want to think about that.
Crate training day one is very important for young dogs. As for house training – cats pretty much litter train themselves. You just have to provide them an atmosphere they want to use for their litter box, but dogs take a little more work. Dr. Stevens says he does not recommend paper training. Talk to your vet about that.
Play biting definitely should be properly addressed and also parasite control. Checking stool samples very early on when you pet comes home because a lot of new pets do come in with parasites in the house that can affect your family.