No one likes to make mistakes, especially when it involves our pets. Whether you’re a new pet owner or a seasoned one, here are the top 5 things you should keep in mind while raising your furry friend:

  1. Treat your pet like a pet: While it’s fun to give your pet table scraps or let them lay on the couch with you, this can cause bad habits. Give your pet a proper diet with plenty of meat and enforce strict boundaries. The earlier you start training the easier it will be for pets to adapt.
  2. Get them used to touch: Whether it’s the vet or the neighborhood kids, other people will pet your cat or dog. By touching them playfully, they can get used to the sensation. Additionally, you should pet different parts of their body: ears, belly, tail, face, etc. If they are better acquainted with your touch, they are more likely to react positively to someone else’s.
  3. Take their care seriously and start early on: Whether it’s brushing teeth, giving baths or house training, you should take it seriously. If you slack off on this care your pet will pick up on it and not be inclined to let you do these things. Set the healthcare routines early on and your pet will learn to expect them and not fuss as much. To make it easier, set up a reward system to teach them what to do. Once they know what to do, wean them off the reward system while keeping their routine stable.
  4. Don’t leave your pet alone for too long: Dogs and cats are social beings! They enjoy spending time with their humans and don’t like being away from people for too long. If you can’t take them with you, check them into a pet hotel or get someone to pet-sit. While your pet would prefer to be with you, someone is better than no one.
  5. “Pet-Proof” your house: Keep valuable items and breakables out of reach from pets. Either store them high up or in a room where your pets can’t go. Give them a spot that is theirs; for cats, it’s usually a window spot and for dogs, it may be a small bed they can cozy up on. Invest in gates to keep pets out of certain spaces (an example would be the kitchen when there’s food out) and crates for when they need a timeout.

By following the guidelines above, you’ll set your pet on the right track so there aren’t problems down the line.