Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Decide what type of pet is best suited for your family’s personality and lifestyle



Choose the right pet for you and your family

1. Dogs require more attention, time and energy than cats do, so if you don’t enjoy walks or hikes in the outdoors, or can’t imagine getting up on cold winter mornings to take your pet out to potty, a cat may be more your style.

Breed characteristics differ, so if you’re looking for a lapdog, you should look into a less-active breed. If you or other members of your family are very active outdoors and plan to bring a pet along, a hardier, more active breed is a better fit.

Some pets require daily brushing and grooming, others don’t require nearly as much.

Your chances of having a long-lasting wonderful relationship with a pet increase dramatically when you give serious thought to the type of animal that best suits you, and choose accordingly.

Train your dog for a lifetime of obedience

2.  Behavior problems are the number one reason dogs are relinquished to animal shelters, the number one reason they don’t find new forever homes, and as a result, the number one reason dogs are euthanized.

From the day you bring your puppy or adult dog home, you should begin teaching her commands such as come, sit, stay, and down. A puppy should begin formal training at eight weeks, and if you adopt an adult dog that has received no obedience training, you should enroll her in a class right away.

It’s also good idea to take your dog through a refresher course every few years, or when you need help with the inevitable behavioral glitch that will pop up as she ages.

Apply house rules consistently

3. As I discussed in my video What You Need to Know Before Bringing Home a New Pet, it’s very important for each member of the family to be on the same page when it comes to what your pet is and isn’t allowed to do in your home.

If one family member lets the dog bark at outside noises, but another family member corrects the behavior, you confuse the dog. If you don’t mind the kitty drinking from the bathroom sink but your husband does, decide which way it’s going to be and stick with it.
When your pet knows what to expect from his behavior, he will be much more inclined to do more of what you approve of and less of what you don’t.

Limit treats to training rewards

4. This is an excellent way to make sure your dog views treats as special rather than expected. It’s also helpful in keeping your pet from becoming overweight or obese.

Feed a species-appropriate diet, and partner with a holistic or integrative vet to maintain your pet’s well-being.

Socialize your pet

5. This is especially important for puppies. Again — behavior problems are the number one reason dogs don’t stay with their families and don’t get adopted by new families.

Lack of proper socialization can result in inappropriate fears, aggressive behavior, general timidity, and a host of other behavior problems that are difficult to extinguish once a dog is mature.

The ideal time for socialization is between three and 12 weeks for dogs; between two and eight weeks for cats.

Help your pet be as active as nature intended

6. Exercise and play time are necessary for your pet’s mental and physical well-being. If you don’t give your dog opportunities to be physically active, or if you don’t encourage exercise for your kitty and find ways to make it happen, you may well end up with a bored, destructive, overweight pet whose health will spiral downward throughout her lifetime.

Find ways to enrich your pet’s environment

7. Your dog or cat needs your help to stay mentally stimulated. This is important not only to discourage destructive behavior in younger pets, but also to keep your older pet’s brain sharp.

Make sure your pet is in good company

8. Pets get lonely and depressed just like people do when they spend too much time alone. Cats are generally better on their own, but dogs and especially puppies don’t do well left to their own devices for extended periods of time.

If you’re regularly away from home 10 or 12 hours a day or you travel out of town weekly for work, a dog might not be the best choice for a pet. If you already have a dog and find yourself away from home for extended periods, make arrangements with a friendly neighbor, relative, dog-sitter or a pet daycare center to give your pup the time and attention you’re not able to.

Keep a pet-friendly home

9. Keep a pet-friendly home. Your dog or cat is a part of the family. If she’s a kitty, she needs her own litter box in a quiet, out-of-the way corner, a scratching post or tree, her own toys, and a nice cozy spot for napping.
Your dog needs his own cozy spot as well, preferably a crate, a comfy bed that’s his alone and a selection of appropriate toys.

Understand that in households with pets, accidents will happen. Have the right cleaning supplies on hand, and learn the best techniques for removing pet stains.

Help your pet be the best pet he can be

10. Train your pet by setting him up to succeed. There’s a reason for everything your dog or cat does, and the reason rarely if ever involves being deliberately disobedient.

You should never physically punish your pet. It brings the animal pain and fear, and it gains you nothing. It’s a lose-lose situation. Please don’t do it.

Your job as a mistake-proof pet parent is to figure out the reason behind the behavior, learn how to encourage what you want to see more of and how to discourage inappropriate behavior.

With dogs, this usually involves additional training or behavior modification. With kitties, it involves arranging your environment to discourage behavior you want to extinguish.

Dr. Becker

    June 27, 2012 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal behavior, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Critter for Christmas Gift… Not Best Idea!

    If you are really thinking of surprising someone with an animal for Christmas, make sure it’s made of fake fur and stuffed.  If you really want to get someone a pet for Christmas, give them a gift certificate or and IOU and then take them to find a pet, if they want one, of their choosing.

    Nothing says “I’m clueless” like giving an animal at Christmas to someone who was neither wanting nor expecting that gift.

    After the oohing and ahhing at the precious animal, the reality of what you’ve done sets in.

    You have just given someone a 10- to 15-year commitment that can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred to thousands of dollars for care.

    If you give a puppy, then you have further obligated them to be home every two or three hours to take the pup outside to use the bathroom.

    They will spend the next year teaching their pup to be a good dog and not tear things up, don’t jump up, stop barking, house training and all the work that goes with helping the pet become a decent part of the family.

    Cats are easier because you don’t have to go stand outside with them in 30-degree temperature on a freezing rainy day and beg them to use the bathroom.

    But you are still obligating your beloved to the care of a pet. Also, why would you assume to know what personality of a pet suits what person? That’s a personal thing.

    Pets are a very personal choice and the right fit is best for both the pet and their new parent.  I’ve always adopted my pets based on their personality fit into my home. These are not plug-and-play toys. Some people prefer affectionate cats, while others don’t mind the aloof ones.  Some like long-hair, some like short-hair.

    You’re giving the gift of obligation that never stops costing or needing. I wouldn’t be happy to receive your gift. In fact, I would resent you and insist you take it back.

    So, if you want to adopt an animal for your family and you want your children to have a pet, then buy a stuffed animal with a note attached that you will go as a family and adopt a pet this spring.

    Why spring?

    People have more time off. They don’t mind being outside so much in the better weather. And your family can decide what pet fits.

    Spend this time researching various breeds, figuring out which ones, like Dalmatians, are athletic and require a lot of exercise and attention and which ones, like Rottweilers, are couch potatoes.

    You’ll learn that Jack Russell Terriers aren’t as sedate as the character Eddie on the television show “Frasier” and all puppies aren’t as bad as Marley.

    But the biggest lesson you will learn is that pet ownership is not something you decide like choosing a lamp. It’s a long-term commitment of money, time and love. The reward is immeasurable, but it’s not something you give someone else. They need to find it for themselves.

    To see animals available locally, go to petfinder.com. On the left side, scroll to “Find local animal welfare groups” and follow instructions. On Petfinder’s home page you’ll also find a “pet promise certificate” you can download and give to someone.

    By: Cindy Wolff – Commercial Appeal

    Posted:  Just One More Pet

    December 3, 2009 Posted by | animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , | 16 Comments