You brought your new pet home, making sure he is cozy and comfortable during the long ride home. You also spent that entire time petting and talking sweetly to him, hoping that your soft words will remove whatever cobweb of fear still lingers in his mind. Then once you reach your house, you feed him right away then take him on a tour around the house. Having pets at home is a wonderful experience that you are looking forward to, and you want that dog to feel the same. But a couple of days later, he is still holed up in his box or under the sofa, content to just move a few steps forward. And there are times he can’t even look at you—let alone trot to you when you call him.
It can be annoying, right? But chill. Pets at home, like people moving into a new apartment or house, have some adjustments to do. The change is not just about recognizing and memorizing their new location, but it also has to do with feeling emotionally safe and welcome with his new owners. That means you.
The ones who have made an art out of this practice will even go one step further and say that pets also need to feel loved and wanted. That’s the secret sauce that really entices them to warm up every inch in your home with their bouncing, bubbly presence, or guard it with their life should an intruder enter. More important, pets at home who feel that they are indeed accepted and loved in your own turf will have no problem in expressing that affection towards you.
Here are a few proven ways to make your pet feel at home
1.) Introduce them to every member of your family. Don’t let his first hours pass without meeting all of the people who live with you, from parents, spouses, siblings, grandparents, to kasambahays. Give your pet time to catch each individual scent, get used to the sound of their voices (and their steps), and be familiar with their touch. Brief your family about this meet-and-greet too. No harsh words, jeering remarks, or cold shoulder. The last thing your pet wants to feel on his first day at your home is rejection.
Give your pet time to catch each individual scent, get used to the sound of their voices (and their steps), and be familiar with their touch.
2.) Give him his special place. Giving him his own room might be too much (and can break your budget). But pets at home do need to feel they have their own sacred space. The one haven in the house where they can retire to after the day is done, or if they just want to sleep after lunch or dinner. Make it permanent. Don’t make the mistake of moving him from one corner to the other every couple of days. It will make him feel confused and disoriented. Having a permanent space, on the other hand, communicates to him that he does belong in your home—and his place in it is respected.
3.) Give him special items that he can call his own. This goes beyond leaving him snackable food and ever-present water. His own pillow, comfy rug, and a couple of chewable toys are a good start. They’re like a baby’s rattle or your little child’s favorite doll or action figure. Pets at home feel confident in staying in that place because they know they own something. That they recognize (although they can’t say it) that these come from you as gifts show them that you do love and care for them.
4.) Always talk to them with warmth, friendliness, and compassion. It doesn’t matter how old your pet is chronologically speaking. Regardless if he is a puppy or a couple of years in his adult life, he will shirk away from anger and any hint of violence. Remember that, again no matter how big he is or how powerful he looks, he is still adjusting to new terrain. That alone makes him feel vulnerable. Shouting at him, even If unintentional, or insinuating threats into jokes can unnerve him. Those uncalled-for tactics might make him avoid you.
Instead, think of him as a baby whose hand you need to hold, and who hangs on every loving word or act that you show him. You have to set that tone from the first minute your new dog steps into your living room. The right approach will go a long way in making pets at home feel welcome. To the point that they will never want to leave.