As spring transitions into summer, animal shelters and breeders expect a frequent visitor: “the stork.” This time, often referred to as “puppy season” or “kitten season,” is when nature tells cats and dogs it’s time to procreate. Ultimately, this means that summer is a popular time for humans to welcome young furry family members into their homes.
This is a very exciting experience! The first year of life is filled with adventure and, during this time, puppies and kitties have a lot of energy. You and your new little one will have to learn how to communicate to teach boundaries, tricks, and proper behaviour. The leading training technique is positive reinforcement. It works by telling your pet what you expect them to do by redirecting him or her to appropriate behaviour and then issuing a reward.
Training based on fear and punishment often leads to your trainee becoming confused about your expectations, and often yields unwanted results. The sooner training begins the better! Safe toys, activities and mental stimulation can also help kittens and pups channel their youthful energy into constructive behaviour. This helps them establish the independence to be trusted home alone and will help increase the longevity of your furniture!
When raising a cat or dog, it’s normal to have many questions about training, housebreaking, feeding, grooming and more. A young pet will likely make frequent visits to the veterinarian so take advantage of this time to ask for advice on these topics. In addition to vaccines and examinations, they will also help you plan for your pet’s spay or neuter. This procedure can reduce or eliminate unwanted hormone-driven behaviours and reproductive diseases but, most importantly, it helps to control overpopulation. Whether your concerns are related to pet healthcare or parenting, your veterinary team will do everything they can to help you get your new addition off to the best start in life.
Adding a young pet to your household is more than buying a puppy or kitten; it is adopting a living being into your family. Remember that accidents happen, chewing is instinctual, and that eventually (with hard work and dedication) you will be rewarded with a loyal companion.
Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at danielle@NeighbourhoodPetClinic.com. Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.