When you get a new pet, you have to build that bond of trust. Here are some ways to do it.
Be Consistent and Reliable
The most important way to build trust with your pet is to show them that you are reliable and dependable. To do this, you need to be consistent. Consistency of routine is the way your pet will begin to become comfortable with you and their new home. A consistent routine will make them feel safe, because they will always know what to expect and what is coming next. If they can’t predict your actions, they won’t know that they can trust you.
To have a consistent routine, you should do things at around the same times of day and/or in the same order. For example, feed them breakfast around the same time every morning, and then take them for a walk every day after they’ve finished eating. When you get home from work, let them go outside. When you take them to the vet, put them in the same crate.
Be Calm and Patient
It’s so important to be calm and patient with your pet, especially if that pet comes from an abusive home. Keep an even-temper, especially when your pet does something they shouldn’t. Being patient with them while they learn or if they disappoint you is the key to teaching your pet that they can trust you to be kind and gentle to them no matter what.
Offer Them Treats
Giving your pet treats will show them that you love them and care about them. It won’t spoil them; it will show them that you’re their friend. Offer them treats, especially when they do something good and sometimes for no reason at all, by holding out the treat in your hand and letting them come to you to get it. Don’t try to force your pet to take the treat or get too close to them if they’re scared. Just wait until they come to you, and they’ll see they don’t have to be afraid.
Spend Time with Them
Especially in the beginning, you should spend as much time as possible with your pet. Spending a lot of time with them is going to show them that they don’t have to worry that you’ll abandon them. You are not going to leave them alone or on their own. Try to take them places with you, or spend a lot of time at home with them in the beginning. Don’t leave them alone for very long stretches at a time, especially not until they’ve learned to trust that you’re going to come back.
Give Them Space When Needed
Building trust with your pet is going to be a process, and it won’t happen right away. Your pet may remain skeptical for a while, and they may want to keep some distance for a while. Sometimes even after they’ve warmed up, they’re going to want their personal space, so let them have it. It’s important to let them know that they can trust you to give them space, too.
Travis Lee is a vet tech and writer who can often be found writing about anything from effective medications to pet training.