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Clear the Shelters 2020: What you need to know before bringing a new pet home

You want to shower your pet with love, but the best way to show it may be giving your pet space.

CLEVELAND — Bringing home a new pet is one of the most exciting things for a family.
You want to play with your pet, show them off and never let them out of your sight. But you need to remember to give the pet space, too. 

Valarie Ross, founder of Sits n' Wiggles Positive Re-Enforcement Training Center in Cleveland, says there are a few things to consider doing when bringing home a pet. That celebratory trip to the pet store might be worth holding off for a moment.

"While we are super excited, and we want to go and we want to have them pick out a toy, maybe they need a bath and we want to introduce them to all of the family," Ross says. "What we really should be doing is planning on heading home and having a few quiet days at home, where there's no visitors and we're not going places."

Ross says about two weeks of minimal isolation does the trick for most dogs, but everyone is different. That's also why you shouldn't mingle a dog with other pets right away. Let your dog feel out their new home.

"What we see in the shelter might not be what we see at home."

To get your dog comfortable, try a few toys that will stimulate them. Ross recommends a sturdy Kong ball, or a newer stimulating toy called the Snufflemat. It's a mat with flaps and crevices you can hide treats in, and dogs or cats will stay stimulated for hours. It's something you can even make yourself. There are plenty of DIY tutorials online.

Don't forget to just let the dog get some shut eye! Though you want your pet to sleep with you in bed, or always be ready to play, the pup could really probably use a good night's sleep. The shelter this pet came from was probably very loud.

"Just like us, if we don't get enough sleep, we get really cranky. If dogs don't get enough sleep, they can get really cranky. So we want to give them time to sleep and relax."

To see more tips from Sits n; Wiggles, visit their Facebook page.

Still want to adopt as part of Clear the Shelters? Click HERE for an interactive map to find a shelter near you!

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