So, you got a new pet over the Christmas season? Congratulations! Caring for a new pet is quite a responsibility; but the love and companionship that you’ll receive in return makes it all worthwhile.
Here are a few tips that will help you get off on the right paw:
- A little anxiety is normal: Don’t be alarmed if your pet shows signs of stress and anxiety for the first week or so after joining your family. Just like us humans, your pet will need to adjust to his/her new surroundings. A few things to expect include:
As noted, these are all normal and should subside as your pet gets used to you and his/her new surroundings. That said, if any of these persist beyond the first week, consult your veterinarian. It is important to rule out the possibility of a medical issue that might need to be addressed.
- Separation Anxiety: Pets are social animals and will quickly become attached to you and your family members. If mom and dad are working and the kids are in school, your pet may well begin to show signs and behaviors related to separation anxiety. Telltale signs include:
To avoid separation anxiety behaviors, do not allow your new pet to roam free while you are not home. If possible, try to limit your absence to short periods of time. If this is not possible, perhaps a puppy sitter or doggy daycare would be a better option for the first few weeks after you bring your new pet home. It is very important to be aware of and prepared to deal with separation anxiety behaviors as these are often the primary cause of pets being returned to a shelter or abandoned all together.
- Socializing your pet: Experts agree that the window of opportunity for socializing your new pet is during the first three to four months of its life.
Here are just a few tips for socializing your pet:
Following these tips will help ensure your pet will be comfortable and secure with its new human family and its world.
We’ll end with just one last tip: Go at your new pet’s pace. If you see your pet starting to withdraw or become anxious as you expose it to new situations, just slow down a bit. Trying to rush the process may simply result in a more anxious pet. So just go at their pace.
And to your new pet, we say: "WELCOME HOME!"
All About Paws is a boarding, grooming, and doggie daycare service provider in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Located next to Ashby Animal Clinic,trusted veterinary clinic for over 40 years.