Everybody who becomes a pet owner hopes they are making a decision that will give them a best friend for life. While the human-pet bond is a rather natural one, it’s not always something that comes automatically. There are ways to ensure that you and your new pet bond from day one. Here are some tips for three different scenarios.
Bonding with Your New Puppy
When it comes to bonding with a new puppy, it’s all about spending time with them. Talk to your new puppy; play with them. Take them on walks and let them be by your side when you go about your daily routine around the house. The more your schedules intertwine, the closer you will become. It’s very important to lay down ground rules and be firm, as well. Dogs — especially new puppies — crave structure. Giving your dog too much freedom may seem like the fun thing to do, but it actually damages the bond. If you set rules and reward good behavior, your puppy will be happy when they do what they’re supposed to do.
The feeding ritual is one tried and true way to ensure a bond forms between you and your dog.
“This should be a simple ritual but many new puppy owners do it wrong and end up destroying any chance to bond using food. Put her food down, let her eat, then take it away after five minutes, whether she eats it or not. The food will be coming from you, always from you, and she will learn to care for you as the provider,” says PetHelpful.com.
Bonding with Your Rescue Dog
Bonding with a rescue dog requires a bit more caution as you can assume that the dog has experienced many different situations – from multiple homes to street life, to kennel life. Some of these situations may not have been ideal. It’s hard to know your rescue dog’s temperament from the get-go.
One of the best ways to develop a bond with a rescue dog is to give them their own safe space and don’t overwhelm them with too much free range of the home. Establish rules early on and let them get comfortable in their gated-off area (or a single room that’s theirs). Preparing your home for their arrival is key. You must make sure they have everything they need to be comfortable and happy. The Snuggle Puppy is a great tool that results in a calmer, more comfortable pet. It creates a sense of security through the physical warmth of the heat pack and the real-feel heartbeat that pet parents insert into the pouch, mimicking another friend or littermate.
Touch is a big barrier for some rescue dogs, but you must get past it in order to form a strong bond.
“You’ve probably noticed the waves of ecstasy that some dogs go into when you pet them – this is a key way to improve your bond. Make sure that you spend some time each day petting and fussing over your dog … If your dog gets used to you touching him all over, this will also help if he injures himself and you need to inspect the area that he’s hurt,” says PetGuide.com.
Dog Boarding and Walking
If you have to spend some time away from your pooch for an extended period of time (vacation, business trip, etc.), consider boarding your pet or finding a friend to take him off your hands until you return. Also, if you find yourself without the time to take your furry friend for a stroll, consider hiring a dog walker to pick up the slack. Your dog will thank you for it.
Bonding with Your New Cat
Like a new dog, a new cat needs to be played with, given treats and trained. This will help the bond. But unlike a dog, giving a cat a bit more independence will actually help your relationship. Let your new cat explore and do her own thing and let her come to you most of the time.
“Your cat is going to want to explore her new home. Give her the time she needs to get comfortable with the smells, sights, and sounds. Be available if she wants to explore you, too, but don’t reach out and try to stop her from doing her thing,” suggests Catster.com.
Health and Nutrition
No matter your situation with your new furry family member, one thing rings true: you must take care of his health in order for the relationship — and your pet — to thrive. Start by offering plenty of opportunities for exercise and feed them only high-quality foods. Ketunpet dog food offers a full range of vitamins and minerals as well as vegetable-based protein for a healthy dog inside and out. When your dog eats well, he grows up strong and healthy, giving you more quality years together.
With a little know-how, you can ensure you and your new pet bond for life. In the end, the overarching tip is to practice love and patience. Never lash out at your pet for any reason. You can be firm in saying no but bonding never improves with negative feedback.