Whiskers/Tails: Getting ready to bring home a new fur baby | Lifestyle

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You made the decision. A new furry family member has arrived. How is the settling in process going? Remember, for some animals they have never known a loving relationship and they need time to adjust and learn to trust their human family and learn to interact with the four-footed family residents.

There are distinct differences between cats and dogs when arriving at their new home. Some things to consider:

Are there other pets, children or special circumstances? If so, the adopter must have plans in place before the new pet arrives.

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Dogs need to be introduced on neutral territory both should be exercised to reduce their energy level before the introductions. It takes time for pets to get to know each other, relax and begin to trust each other.

Be sure to use effective barriers to prevent any confrontations. Closed doors, gates, crates and leashes should be handy.

Keep both dogs on a leash in the house until you are sure there are no pending challenges. Stepping on the leash is much more effective and safe in case of a tussle.

Crate or put both dogs in separate rooms when you leave the house until you are sure they are happy together.

The newly arrived feline does best if placed in a quiet room with all the essentials, visit frequently, do not force interactions but talk quietly until the cat starts to come out in response to your voice.

It may take days, the cat might hide under the furniture and run each time you enter the room. Introducing one cat to the resident cat also requires some planning. Be sure the resident cat does not feel displaced. Continue with your normal routine but be sure to pay a little extra attention to the resident, first to get breakfast and that extra tummy rub.

A spray bottle or a blanket is the best approach to an altercation — do not try to pick up either cat just get them separated.

To get off on the right foot, be sure to have a practical plan with a consistent approach. Be sure all the chores are done daily and also be sure there is playtime and that extra cuddle and snuggle is a benefit to all.

Remember, each pet has their own distinct personality and they learn love and trust from you — take that extra few minutes and enjoy the relationship. You have a new family member.

Precious Paws Rescue volunteers and pets are settling into our new Adoption Center at 3768 W. Gulf-to-Lake Highway in Lecanto the corner of Homosassa Trail and State Road 44, in the strip mall behind the Sunoco gas station.

We plan to be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Volunteers are always needed, so think about donating a few hours each week or month. High School students on summer break, come on out and get your community service hours done before school starts up.

Call 352-726-4700 with any questions.



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