The 2nd Pet…

Animal lovers are generally not happy with just one pet. The story tends to start with a first pet (be it a dog or a cat or a bird) that is just so awesome that the owner would love to have another like it. Maybe the second pet is for the owners benefit, perhaps it is intended as a companion for the first, or perhaps it is to be a pet for another member of the family. Indeed it can be really great fun to have more than one pet in the family, but here are some things to keep in mind.

The second pet will be just as much work as the first, if not more. It will not be LESS work, and it will probably be more than twice the work to have twice the pets. Why would this be?

two dogs

To bond with the new pet in the same way as the first, you have to put aside the time to interact, play, and train the new addition just like you did the first. This is extremely important for many reasons. Two pets come to rely massively on one another for companionship, you need to ensure you are a significant person in both pets lives, that they can relax and be happy on their own, and that both pets have the trained skills you need them to know in order to enjoy sharing your home with them.

The importance of training both pets to be relaxed and happy on their own cannot be understated! More often than you might think one pet may need to go to the vet alone, travel separately, escape the yard, etc and it can be a nightmare if the other pet is unable to relax without their friend present. Training, socialising, and play are all great things to do one-on-one too, ensuring that each pet is confident about their world without needing their buddy beside them.

Something else to keep in mind is that if you are having trouble with your first pet, then a friend is not the answer. What would you do if you ended up with two problem pets? We recommend seeking help with your first pet to help them become a happy member of the family and then consider whether you still want a new addition. If you haven’t got time to train the first pet, then double trouble is going to be even harder to schedule into your day!

Two (or more) pets can be awesome, and they can be amazing company for one another when life drags us away from home. In some cases even another pet of a different species can make a big difference to a quiet house when the humans are away. Think about the pros and the cons, and make an informed decision with your next addition.

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Positive doesn’t have to be permissive

On of the biggest worries people have with regards to training their pets with positive reinforcement is that they won’t be able to set house rules, and that by using force-free methods they will be letting their pets walk all over them.

pets outdoors training

This couldn’t be further from the truth, in fact i promise you that my own pets are infinitely easier to manage in the time since I put punishment-based methods back in the bottom of my training toolbox. In situations where i would once resort to “ah uh!” or “no!” I am now armed with the knowledge of how to help my pets to do something more appropriate, motivating them so that they do it again in future.

You can run a happy, pet-filled home without playing the feared law-enforcement officer.

The beauty of training with positive reinforcement is that it creates a training relationship where your pet wants to do what you ask. You have to do your part, by taking the time to teach your pet the skills to respond correctly, but the long term effects of this approach to training are worth that small effort. If you haven’t taken this time to actually teach your pet what to do then how could you possibly expect it to behave correctly?

indoor cat training

Get together with your family and figure out what your house rules are, and how they influence the ways in which your pet/s can behave. What do you need to teach them for them to succeed in your home? How can you do that in a way that promotes trust, fun, and bonding for everyone?

You don’t need to resort to harsh training methods to run a happy house. Get in touch with us to find out how you can set your pet up for success in your home and life!