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Given a pet for Christmas? Best tips to take care of your new furry friend

If you are gifted a new furry friend for Christmas, it can be a significant financial and emotional adjustment. But it can also be the start of an amazing relationship.

Brian Wierima, the community relations coordinator for the Gulfcoast Humane Society, is no stranger to seeing a pet adoption not work out. But Wierima also told WINK News, it is all about your mindset.

“You need to be very patient,” Wierima said. “Get your pet into a routine, such as potty training. Stimulate it if it’s chewing on furniture or computer cables. It’s looking for something to do.”

Wierima adopted two dogs from the Humane Society less than two months after moving to Cape Coral. He loves his Jack Russell mix, Sota, and Border Collie, ZaZa.

As Wierima did with his dogs, he encourages you to purchase toys to keep your new pet occupied and content. A favorite of his is bones and to “put it all around the house.” If you make it a challenge with the toys, you can “stimulate their mind,” keeping your new pet busy and entertained.

Another option is crate training. Wierima suggests making the crate a safe place for your new pet. Or maybe, trying out a trainer.

“We do have a trainer on staff,” Wierima said. “There is a cost to it, but it is worth it. It will give you confidence and the dog confidence when you know what to do in certain circumstances.”

But if you decide it is not a good fit, Wierima told us that it is okay.

“It didn’t work out. It happens,” Wierima said. “We prefer you to bring it back. That way, we provide another adoption to a happy home and using that knowledge that you provided to help this animal become more trained.”

Reporter:Sabrina Katz
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