How to House-Train Your Pets

If I had to live without my dogs I would find life much less interesting. They bring such energy, warmth and laughter to every day. They are the reason that I take time every morning to walk in the park and subsequently clear my mind of work and any other worries. They are part of my family.

Instinctive behaviour

All animals have natural instincts. How we adapt these instincts to our living arrangements dictates how well our animals fit in with our lifestyle. Animals require the basics of food and shelter. Most of them also require human companionship. Be really clear in your mind that you are able to give these unconditionally before you decide to bring a pet into your life.

Research the characteristics of the pet you choose – don’t rely on a pet store or breeder. Read some books. Talk to a veterinary surgeon. Never make a spur-of-the-moment decision. A pet really is for life! Think about your schedule and how much time you will be able to devote to your pet. Dogs require lots of human interaction and lots of exercise. The trouble begins when ani­mals are alone and bored. Cats are more independent and can be happy on their own, although they like company sometimes. Animals that live in cages or tanks need less personal interaction and can often be left alone for periods of time as long as they are fed.

Leader of the pack

You are supposed to be the master. Top dog. Always remember this. Teach your pet the rules of the house. Dogs and cats require their own territory. Wherever this may be in your house, always keep any bedding and toys in this location. Train dogs to go to their basket on command. Practise this daily and when you really want them out of the way, they will obey. Every now and then sit in their spot. It reinforces the fact that you are the boss.

If you have pets, keeping the house fresh smelling and clean is the greatest challenge. For pets that shed, it is essential to groom them regularly. This means brushing them every few days to remove the undercoat of hair. For cats it is essential because if they groom themselves they can develop hairballs that cause them to choke. The more you remove by brushing, the less likely they are to be ill. Did you know that the simple act of grooming or patting your pet can reduce blood pressure? Just what the doctor ordered!

House-training cats to use a litter tray and dogs to go outside is the single most important thing you will do. Cats are quick to learn and will get the knack of it in a few days’ time. With dogs it can take longer. As puppies, take them for frequent walks outdoors, especially just after a meal. Always praise them for getting it right. Never scold them for making a mistake. If you catch them in the act, quickly get them outdoors so they understand the asso­ciation. Accidents will occasionally hap­pen with all pets. To make sure they do not repeat their performance, neutralise the odour with an enzyme cleaner.

Companion for life

Do unto pets as you would do unto yourself. Groom them. Keep them clean. Wash their dishes. Give them fresh water all the time. Feed them the best food available. This will reinforce their dependency on you and will keep them obedient. The rewards definitely outweigh any hassle. Just the wag of a tail, a purr, a lick, can make the world right. A companion that is always there for you can reduce the stresses of life to insignificance. I highly recommend it.

Filed Under: Pets & Animals


About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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