Do's and Dont's for Your New Shelter Pet

DO make sure your new cat has his own litter box and lead him to it within a few minutes of arriving home for the first time.

DON'T allow your new dog or puppy to immediately run free in your yard. Instead, put a leash on him and accompany him as he explores.

DON'T allow your pet to leave the house without a collar, tags and a microchip. If he gets loose, all of these identifiers make it easier to help your pet get home.

DO separate cats at home when they first meet. Make sure that each cat has somewhere to hide comfortably, such as a box, a private room or a kitty condo.

DON'T bring your new puppy to a dog park until you know he is healthy, is up to date on his vaccinations, recognizes his name, and is comfortable around other dogs. This means you'll likely have to wait until your puppy is at least 4 months old and has had his rabies vaccine.

DO be sure you provide a scratching pad or post for your cat and remember to reward her for scratching in the right place!

DON'T allow new pets free reign of the house right away. Let them acclimate slowly, room by room.

DO use positive reinforcement when training pets. Treats, praise and play are great rewards.  Use what works best for your new four-legged family member.

DON'T forget to regularly play with and walk or run with your puppy or dog. Regular exercise helps promote canine health and wellness. If your new pet is a cat, make sure she gets plenty of play, too.

DO remember to love, play with, snuggle, and exercise your new pet for the rest of her life. Regular exercise helps promote health and wellness - for the both of you.