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How to Build Puppy Trust this National Puppy Day


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This week we recognise National Puppy Day (Wednesday) and what better way to celebrate it than with bringing home a new puppy? As long as you have the time, money and love to give them, of course!

Unfortunately more and more dogs are ending up in shelters recently due to post-lockdown realisations from new pet parents that they can’t care properly for their pup. Work, travel and other commitments have returned to the forefront of people’s minds, leaving a lot of dogs – and cats – behind.

In fact, we hear a lot of the time people are surrendering their new(ish) dog due to behavioural issues. And that this could have been avoided if they’d taken the time to teach pup obedience training, socialisation and other skills. Difficult during COVID but it still could have been achieved with time, thought and effort.

So, with all these little doggos looking for a new family to call home… Is it your time to give one a second chance? Perhaps a lower-commitment cat instead?

Here are some tips on how to best bond with your new pet and ensure they learn positive behaviours that will benefit you both.

10 ways to build good behaviours in your new pet

Whether you decide to adopt a cat or are bringing home an adopted dog, here are some tips to set you both up for a happy lifelong friendship.

1. Use reward based training

Obedience training has been proven to make your puppy happier and more obedient, especially when it’s done without using punishment. Read why positive reinforcement training works so well on National Puppy Day and every other day – for dogs and for cats.

2. Playtime, socialisation and training are a must

Playtime for dogs is not just nice, it’s necessary! Make sure you’re taking your dog out and about regularly, to mingle with other pups and people. You could also consider a puppy training school – it’s a valuable way to teach many useful doggo skills and how to socialise with other dogs and humans.

3. Establish a routine

Pets respond well to the security of routine. Establish when playtime, exercise and feeding time are early on so yours can get well settled in. For an adopted pet, this is especially important because they’ve had to lose a home, wait in hope and now need to learn what home means over anew.

4. Socialise your new and old pets

Introductions between existing and new pets are like wine. Take it slow and it will mature well. Read about introducing your kitten and cat and introducing your puppy to a cat.

woman celebrates her puppy on national puppy day
5. Make time for bonding – not just on National Puppy Day

Take time out to bond with your pet each day. No matter how fast life seems, knowing you and your pet will get through the thick and thin together helps make it all worthwhile. If you have a rescue pet know that patience is a virtue. They may’ve had a rough time and need that extra reassurance everything is going to be OK. If they seem to be struggling, consider a pet behaviourist to help set them on course sooner.

6. Create a pet sanctuary

Give your pet a den they can call their own, somewhere they can retreat to that has all their favourite things, from toys and bedding to one of your worn T-shirts! Cat beds are inexpensive and oh so soft, and especially enticing when they’re cocoon-like in their design. For dogs, a crate can be a den-like safe place. Should you crate train a puppy? Find out here.

7. Use a pet pheromone diffuser

Pet pheromones mimic the scent of their mummy cat or dog and really help them feel mellow. Buying a spray this National Puppy Day is worth the small spend if it will help settle your new BFF.

8. Get your pet supplies before you get your pet

Make sure to stock up on basic supplies before your furkid comes home. You’d rather hang with your new pal than be standing at the checkout buying pet food. Food, treats, food and water bowls, toys, bedding, flea and tick treatment – have it all there. And be sure to read up on pet vaccinations too.

9. Keep cats home for the first few weeks

It’s clever to keep your new kitty indoors for at least a week at first, if not more (dogs not so much). This will help them settle in and orientate and prevent them from straying or getting lost.

10. Microchip your pet

Seriously consider microchipping your pet, which will make it much easier for them to be returned to you if they get lost and end up at a shelter. Here’s what you need to know when you microchip a dog and about microchipping a cat.

Celebrate National Puppy Day with pet insurance

When you adopt a new pet you want them to stay as happy and healthy as possible, right? You want your time together to be spent bonding and enjoying, rather than worrying. That’s why pet insurance is so important – it empowers you to make quick decisions on medical care so you can focus on the positives of pet parenting.

Why not take two minutes to get a quick quote now?

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