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Give It Time!

How many of us after having met a new friend, we were so happy to connect, thrilled even! Well it is the same way with an animal friend. We are so happy to meet them and introduce them into our lives. It is an exciting time!

Just like with a human friend, an animal friend needs the same process to get to know us to feel right in the relationship. What are our interests, who are our other friends, how much time do you have to spend together; and when things do not happen as expected, how do we work together to resolve? And it takes time to sort these things out. So when adopting an animal friend, give it time.

Introduce your new friend patiently to their new environment. Remember, it is just as important that they are feeling secure with you as you are to them. Show them their safe place… a crate or a bed. Let them know it is great to show you when they need to go out to relieve themselves….positive reinforcement is the best. When they do their thing outside, go crazy with praise – a treat, happy petting, even singing.  If they don’t make it out there in time.. then just take them out happily and say “here is where we go”. And when they grab something that they shouldn’t be taking, hand them an appropriate animal toy positively stating “this is for you”. Eventually they will get it. It works. Give it time.

When you have other animal and human friends living in your household…introduce them at a shelter adoption meeting first. If all goes well, then you can continue to interface with them at home. Don’t let the existing friend feel threatened by the new friend. Just like with human relationships, give them time to get used to each other. Demonstrate equal amounts of attention, so they may get to know each other without jealousy and competitive responses. Then they will confidently realize that they are only gaining more love to share.

Check with your vet and adoptive counselor for further detailed advice. Remember…give it time. Nothing worthwhile happens overnight. And when you give it time….the reward can be a relationship that everyone can benefit from!

Disclaimer of Liability and Endorsement: The views expressed in the Verona Street News are those of its authors and do not constitute the views of the City of Rochester, Friends of Verona Street Animal Shelter, Inc. or their Agents. The content herein is provided for informational purposes only. Dissemination by the City of Rochester and Friends of Verona Street Animal Shelter, Inc. does not constitute an endorsement of the author’s views, products or services..