Bringing a new pet home is exciting. Help your new dog or cat make a successful adjustment to your home by being prepared and being patient. It can take anywhere from two days or several months for you and your pet to adjust to each other. Your new pet is a living, breathing, creature with feelings. Our best analogy is imagine going to a new country and not knowing the language or the people. How confusing would it be? Go slow, do not try everything at once. Introduce new pets and resident pets slowly and supervised. For dogs, walk it out. Walk the dogs together, let them play, and then go into the home. Be cautious with toys, food, and beds at first.
We have found that dogs are usually on their best behavior for the first couple of weeks before they get comfortable and start testing their boundaries. Cats may hide at first. Please remember that we can offer advice or suggestions if you are experiencing any issues. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us.
For the Fidos
“The most important phase dogs go through after the shelter is the Decompression Phase, also known as the Two week shutdown. The Decompression stage lasts anywhere from the first day to a few weeks to even, in extreme cases, months. This guide will show you step-by-step what to do from the moment your rescue arrives through the first days and weeks to set up your foster dog for success.”
Read more about “The Two Week Shut Down” https://lgarinc.org/decompression-the-two-week-shutdown/
Be consistent. Dogs really like routines and are happier when they know what to expect.
Set up a solid routine with your dog as soon as possible. On average, a dog can hold their bladder for 1 hour per month of age.
Learn to read your dog’s body language in order to pick up the “cues” your dog uses when he/she has to go to the bathroom.
Make sure to take your dog out after every meal, upon waking, after playtime or after training sessions.
Go to the same spot for bathroom breaks and praise them for doing their business.
Do not start praising,walks or playtime until after they have finished going to the bathroom.
Start marking the bathroom breaks with a phrase or word like “do your business” or “go potty”.
Make a schedule for feeding and watering and stick to it.
Remove your dog’s water at nighttime so they don’t fill up with water right before going to bed.
Keep your dog near you and under your supervision at all times during housebreaking training. Y
Crate train your puppy. Crate training is a great way to control a young dogs bathroom habits. However do not leave them in crates for longer than recommended. See below crate training link.
Thoroughly clean up all bathroom mishaps a few times with an enzyme based product such as Nature’s Miracle.
Keep at it and it will pay off. There is no magical cure for housebreaking. It just takes consistent and persistent work. A few months of patience, understanding and consistency for a lifetime of enjoyment is a small price
Your new feline friend needs time to adjust to a new environment. Cats are creatures of habit and do not like change, even if it is a change for the better! So it is best to take it slow and let them acclimate in their own time frame. Set up a room away from the main activity centers of the home, a bathroom or spare room is good. Put their litter box, food, water, and a bed in there. (Place all these items with some distance between them. After all, you do not eat, sleep and eliminate all in the same small space.) Also place some toys in there. Let them acclimate to this room first. Spend some time in there with them and play with them to start establishing a bond. If they like to be brushed, this is a good way to bond.
After a couple of days allow the cat out to explore the new home. Continue to allow easy access to the haven if the cat gets nervous and needs to retreat. If you wish to move the litter box and food and water dishes to another permanent location, set up a second box and dishes in the permanent location and keep both available for a few days. Remove the old when you are sure your cat is using the new area.
Buy a sturdy scratching post, and show it to your cat. Cats love toys and do you know they can learn tricks? Discourage scratching on the furniture or doorways by using a squirt bottle. Often times it only takes a couple of uses and the kitty will understand.
If you have young children or dogs, make sure the cat can retreat to a safe area, where it is not trapped. Use baby gates to create a safe space if necessary. Introduce them slowly to the resident pets. Adjustments may take some time.
We do not believe in declawing cats. It can create many negative reactions. Nearly two dozen countries—including Australia, England, and Japan—ban or severely restrict declawing surgeries. Many veterinarians in the United States refuse to perform the procedure. Declawing a cat is like the equivalent of cutting a person’s finger off at the first knuckle. Clawing is a natural, healthy, and important behavior. Cats scratch to exercise and enjoy themselves, maintain the condition of their nails, and stretch their muscles. If your cat goes outside without claws, your cat would be far more vulnerable to predators and abusers.
Declawed cats often become more aggressive. Many people think that declawed cats are safer around babies, but in fact, the lack of claws makes many cats feel so insecure that they tend to bite more often as a means of self-protection. Pain continues even after surgery. Cats are in pain when they awake from the surgery, and the pain continues afterward. Nails can grow back inside the paw, causing extreme pain that you can’t see.
Declawed cats are more likely to go outside of the litterbox. Without claws, even house-trained cats might start “doing their business” outside the litterbox in an attempt to mark their territory
Declawed cats have to relearn to walk. Our toes are crucial to our balance, and it’s no different for cats! Because of impaired balance after the procedure, declawed cats have to relearn how to walk, much as a person would after losing his or her toes.
What You Can Do Instead
Trim your cat’s nails regularly. When the cat is relaxed and unafraid, gently press on his or her toes until the claws extend. Use a pair of nail clippers, and cut only the tip of the nail, taking care not to damage the vein, or “quick.” The nail hook is what tears upholstery, so removing it virtually eliminates the potential for damage.
Buy multiple scratching posts. Ideally, you should have two or more scratching posts in your home. Make sure that they’re sturdy and tall enough to allow your cat to stretch (3 feet or taller). Soft, fluffy carpeted posts won’t fulfill your cat’s clawing needs, so look for rougher posts.
Teach your cat where to scratch and where not to scratch. Encourage your cat to use the scratching posts by sprinkling catnip on the posts once a week. Discourage your cat from scratching furniture by using a loud, firm voice whenever he or she starts to scratch—cats don’t like loud noises! Never use physical force. Instead, you might try using a squirt gun full of lukewarm water directed at your cat’s back.