Tough Love for Puppy or Kitten

Some dogs and cats are cuddlers while others like their space – just like people. But whether your pet likes cuddling or not, it’s important to teach him/her to accept touching.

Pets, just like children go through life stages. At about 3 months old, they may exhibit an independent time and may not respond to your call or to your touch. S/he may not even want to stay close to you. But as your pet grows older, this could change and they may become velcro pets.

However, like it or not, you puppy or kitten must learn to accept handling. There are times when we (or the vet) have to do things that they may not like such as bathing, brushing teeth, clipping nails, grooming coats, health examinations and more that they don’t particularly enjoy.

Beginning touching early will teach your pet that this is a part of life they have to endure. They may even grow to enjoy the experience as it means time spent with you and helps with the bonding process.

At first your pet may attempt to escape or yell for help so that the neighbors think you’re committing a murder. Your pet may even growl or try to bite or scratch. Don’t punish your pet, just speak calmly, throw in some pets, but don’t stop the lesson. If you do, you are rewarding your pet for this behavior.

Gently go over your pet’s body, from mouth to tip of tail. Examine ears, teeth, gums and run hands over all parts of the body. For a particularly feisty pet, you may offer a treat after you’ve finished the examination.

The payoff will be a well-behaved pet who will accept handling as normal.

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