- Departments H–W
- Public Health
- Humane Division
- Pet Adoptions
- Bringing Your Pet Home
Bringing Your Pet Home
Animals makes a great addition to a new home! To help with the transition, consider these tips when bringing home a new pet:
- Introduce your new pet to the home slowly. Provide a quiet area where the pet can be alone to make this transition easier.
- Establish set places for the food and water bowls to give the pet a familiar routine.
- “Safety proof” the home by removing potential dangers and areas of curiosity.
- Assign duties for family members that outline the care and grooming of the new pet.
- Enroll the pet in a behavior training course and
Housebreaking Your Pet
Housebreaking is an important step in introducing your new pet into your home. To be successful, the process requires patience and persistence from the owner and praise for the animal’s success. As every animal is different in age, experience and behavior, this success could come quickly or take several months.
Pet Adoption Center staff recommends:
- Establishing a routine schedule – Take the animal outside first thing in the morning, after spending time in a crate or waking up from a nap, after eating and drinking, and before going to bed for the night. Puppies may require additional time outside.
- Finding a spot – Bring the animal to the same location every time to become familiar. Move on to a longer walk or play time only after he or she is finished.
- Observing behavior – Look for signals and rhythms that the animal needs to go. When noticing these cues, immediately take him or her outside.
- Using consistent language – Using the same words every time you take him or her outside will equate the process with the command.
- Praising success – Clap, cheer and reward the animal with treats or extra attention as soon as the good results occur. Do this on the spot, so the positive behavior is connected to praise.
- Confining the pet until you’re available to supervise – If you need to leave and cannot directly supervise your pet, keep the animal in a confined area, such as a crate or a small portion of a quiet room. Ideally, this space is big enough only for the animal to stand, lie down and turn around. This will discourage the animal from eliminating waste in the location he or she is confined, but owners should take the animal outside as soon as they return.
Videos to Help Raise a New Pet
Below is a list of videos designed to help new families bring home animals from the St. Charles County Pet Adoption Center. Please click on the link to view the video: