Introducing Your Pet to Nature

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dog in the countryIf you live in the country, your pet is already adjusted to the sounds of birds, the bubble of a stream, the perfume of flowers. But if your pet lives in an apartment, too much nature all at once may be confusing and even distressing.

An excellent way to prepare your pet for a trip to the country is to introduce him first to the new sounds. If he’s never heard birds singing or a frog croak, you can go online and download many of the sounds your pet will be exposed to — but in the comfort of his own home. It may sound a bit strange, but gradual exposure through a CD or tape can make all the difference between a pleasant trip and a terrifying one.

When completely out of his familiar environment, a dog or cat may become disoriented and run off, which is the reason I recommend the leash for trips. As with anything else, an animal will adjust better to a new situation if you expose him to it gradually. Start with short trips to a local park and build up to a real hike in a more remote area. It’s usually the housebound, inexperienced pet who gets into trouble in new situations, so the more time you can spend with him outdoors, the better.

As with many pet problems and concerns, the most important thing a new pet owner can do is to expose and socialize their pet early and always make it a positive experience.

Have a great hike!