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Obedience Training

Proper Training is a must for every good family dog or cat, regardless of size or breed! Puppies may start classes when they are as young as 8 weeks old. Obedience training is fun. It helps prevent negative encounters between family members and the dog. It reinforces the bond between the handler(s) and pet. Spending some consistent training time with your young puppy can set him up for a life of proper manners and enjoyable times. As your dog or cat matures you will see that if they are well mannered you will want to spend more time with them and it will be much easier to bring them with you and have them be a bigger part of your life. Keep in mind your puppy will not have full immunity from his vaccines until his final booster vaccine at around 14-18 weeks of age. Simple things such as travel in the vehicle and trimming their nails should be done routinely as a young animal followed with plentiful rewards to ensure these mundane yet important tasks are well tolerated as they grow up. Consult your veterinarian to find out about obedience classes available in the area and about when it would be appropriate to start such classes. Even though cats don’t go to obedience classes as such it is still just as important to train your new cat to have proper manners from the beginning.

Housebreaking

Begin as soon as the puppy arrives in your home. Young puppies should be taken out immediately upon waking and just before retiring, as well as multiple times during the day. Most puppies cannot "hold it" for long periods so it will be necessary to take the puppy out almost every hour at first (especially after periods of play, naps, and mealtimes), and then gradually increase the amount of time between visits to the "bathroom." Take the puppy to the same area each time and praise it immediately and enthusiastically when it eliminates. Do not play with, or talk to, the puppy until after it has eliminated. Remember, if the puppy doesn't eliminate outside, its urine and feces are being saved for deposit inside your house! One key to successful housebreaking is starting a routine. Meals should be fed 2-3 times daily or even more frequently for some puppies. Try to feed at the same times each day. Dogs thrive on routines! You will see that as your dog matures if you stick to a routine even things such as their bathroom habits will align with their meal schedule. This will come in very handy in the future for many different reasons.


Litter Box Training

A kitten will housebreak itself. Provide it with a clean litter box located in a proper place and make sure the kitten knows where it is located. Edges of boxes should not be too deep for a kitten to navigate and the box should be kept scrupulously clean. A good rule of thumb is that there should be one more litter boxes in the house than the number of cats residing there, and the boxes should be kept in different locations affording some privacy. Choice of litter (eg, clay, sand, recyclable paper) is up to the kitten owner, although some cats appear to have substrate preferences. Many veterinarians recommend staying away from litters with deodorant and baking soda additives as they can irritate your cat's respiratory tract. If your cat is well litter trained then starts having accidents contact your veterinarian right away as this can often times be a sign an early sign of illness or disease. 

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