Many families across San Antonio added furry family members this past holiday season. As families get back to the normal grind of work and school, this puts your new pet friend in an unfamiliar position… they don’t have anyone to play with.
During the holiday the whole family had lots of time to spend with the new cat or dog spoiling them with lots of love and attention. Now everyone has to go back to their normal routine, leaving your new animal friend without much needed supervision.
In most households this means they are restrained by a baby gate, held up in a laundry room, let loose in the backyard, left to have free rein of the house, or even tied up out in the yard. While these actions are done with the best of intentions, it is important to remember that your pet is not just new to you, but also new to your environment as well. This could be a recipe for bad behavior and acting out.
Just like people, pets adjust to schedules and as they get used to your regular working hours their habits will improve. This does not mean that there won’t be instances where a shoe is chewed, presents are left on the carpet, a fence is busted through, or a door is marred by claws.
There are a few ways that you can prepare your new pet for their new time alone.
- Leave your pet food and water.
- Put newspaper down in the area that they will be staying.
- Make sure the area you plan to leave your pet is free of choking hazards and things are picked up off the floor, to avoid any chewing issues, remember if you leave it within reach they will get into it.
- Give your pet some music to listen to while you are gone. The silence in the house may cause your pet some anxiety.
- Make sure you walk the perimeter of your fence to make sure your yard is secure, patch any holes in the fence as needed. (Here are some tips from the Humane Society if you do chain your dog on better ways to keep your dog in your yard, Unchain Your Dog Tips)
- Let a neighbor or two know that you have a new pet, what it’s name is, and a picture is always helpful just in case they get out of your yard/house. If you want to get creative you can create your very own pet announcements, which are a cute way to introduce your pet to friends and family, check out our friend Thicket’s. This could be a fun family project all you need is a picture of our dog, glue, markers, construction paper, stickers and anything else crafty!
- Be prepared for the unexpected! No one ever plans to come home and find their pet missing so be prepared for the consequences by having your pet spay/neutered, vaccinated, and micro-chipped.
Now that covers one part of the “not so new pet” but what about the part where the kids have lost interest and forgotten all of their responsibilities? A great idea would be to create a pet care chart for your kids to follow with a list of things for them to do with their pet each day.
Make sure to check out our online events calendar for the latest things to do with your pet! Coming up this Saturday is Pucks and Paws, human tickets are $15 and pet tickets are $5! Bring your dog to the game to help the Rampage break a world record for most dogs at a sporting event! $5 of your ticket purchase goes back to Alamo Area Partners for Animal Welfare. One dog per person. All dogs must be on a leash Hope to see you out there!
Keep your Heads High and Tails Waggin’ San Antonio!