In recent news, a pet escaped from its owner, made its way to a shelter and, after three days, was adopted by another family. Unfortunately, the dog was not microchipped and the shelter had no way of tracking down the rightful owner. Now the two families are in litigation over the pet. The moral of the story? Appropriate identification and microchipping can help your pet find his way home to you.
Microchipping is only part of what makes a responsible pet owner. Read and share these tips to keeping your pet-ownership experience safe, healthy and happy.
Bringing Home Baby
Meeting your new puppy, kitten or any other pet can be an exciting experience. Your pet, however, has some adjusting to do. New sights, smells and sounds can be overwhelming for the little guy and keeping a calm household is important. If you are picking up your pet from a breeder, ask her to place a towel in with the litter so it can pick up familiar smells. This will help give comfort to your pet’s new surroundings. If you are adopting from a shelter, you won’t have that option, so make sure that there is ample warm bedding available and a secure place for your pup to quietly relax.
A Safe Place
Creating a safe place for your pet is crucial to its comfort. Make sure your pet has its own place of comfort where it can rest, relax and feel secure.
For dogs, for instance, crate training and acclimation is essential from day one to make home containment a much easier experience. Center for Pet Safety recommends either a plastic or metal crate for home training. Fabric crates are not for puppies, as they can be easily breached. Those little paws and needle teeth can find their way through fabric in a snap.
Stay consistent with training, play time and rest time for your pets so they don’t get too overwhelmed. Your calm and consistent demeanor will help your pet to understand that they can trust you. Once you earn their trust, understand the schedule, and feel secure in their safe place, both of your lives will be much easier.
Most animals are creatures of habit. It will be important to develop a consistent schedule to follow with your new pet. Potty breaks at regular intervals, feeding at the same time(s) every day, playtime, walks – everything needs to be scheduled. At first, this can seem overwhelming but soon enough, you and your new pet will be on the same schedule.
For a new puppy, leash and collar training is very important. Center for Pet Safety recommends an adjustable fabric puppy collar with a quick release clasp for puppy training. Gently place the collar on the puppy, provide supervision and playtime. Usually, they’ll scratch at it for a little while, and then forget about it. Take off the collar when you crate your puppy. Put it back on when you take the puppy out of the crate.
Once the puppy is used to the collar, then attach a soft fabric puppy leash. While you are out with your puppy (in a secured area, like a fenced backyard) let him drag the leash behind him. He’ll be distracted with his new surroundings and gradually get used to the leash. Gently pickup the leash and coax the puppy to follow you (ideally, the puppy should be at your left side). Eventually, you and your dog can enroll in a basic obedience class.
An initial vet visit is a good way to get a baseline of your pet’s health. Your pet will need certain shots and a thorough examination. If anything should arise later, your veterinarian will already have a record of your pet’s health and what was normal before.
Your vet visit is also a great time to ask your vet about microchipping your pet. A microchip is a small device (about the size of a grain of rice) that is implanted under the skin of your pet to identify them if lost. A microchip can be easily implanted during a routine vet visit or during a spay/neuter surgery. By registering the chip with a national database, a veterinarian or animal rescue officer can simply scan the chip, check the number in the database and contact you to let you know your furry friend is safe and sound.
Part of being a responsible pet owner is establishing the basics from day one. Creating a safe, calm, loving and secure environment for your pet allows all of you the maximum enjoyment of pet ownership. Taking care that your pet is healthy and microchipped also means that your pet is well protected. A lost pet is a frightening experience but a microchip can bring your baby back home. Follow these tips for great pet parenting!