TODAY

TODAY   |  December 30, 2013

How to take care of that new Christmas pet

Did you find a new puppy under the holiday tree? Check out these tips from dog trainer Andrea Arden on how to take care of the newest member of your home.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> if santa left a new puppy or kitten under your tree this christmas it can be an adjustment for the whole family.

>> here with tips is the dog trainer along with all up for adoption from the humane society of new york. good morning.

>> good morning.

>> before we start. this is a reunion. your 13th birthday.

>> on my 13th birthday at a restaurant it was your birthday as well and you sent me over cake and took a picture with me.

>> i sent cake. that's what i do. i'm a cake sender.

>> you said this was during your high roller --

>> it was during my era.

>> champagne for the kids.

>> let's talk about these beautiful animals because a lot of people get these as gifts and then it's like uh-oh.

>> what's the first thing you want to tell people?

>> when you bring a new dog or cat into your home they're probably overwhelmed as well and people's first reaction is to let the dog or cat run loose in their home and get used to it. that's the worst thing you can do. with a dog, make sure that when you have them in the home with you and you're there to super advise you keep them on a leash and that means you're preventing them from moving around the house and making mistakes.

>> what about crates?

>> crates are terrific. people are a little misunderstood about them. they think that they're cruel but if you use it properly. if you feed your dog in the crate. if you feed them out of food stuffable toys it keeps them busy and they can see it as a safe place.

>> we have a 1-year-old dog and that's what we did. we crate trained her and she is so happy in that area and she knows where her boundaries are.

>> and of course these guys --

>> these are little puppies and when you have a baby puppy who needs to go to the bathroom more frequently than you can take them out --

>> don't go to the bathroom now.

>> don't worry. you need a long-term confinement area and in this area you'll cover the entire area with pads or some other form or surface they can go to the bathroom on.

>> but not newspaper.

>> i would say not newspaper if only for the fact that the ink is probably going to get on your floor and puppy and it could be toxic.

>> okay. it could stain the floor.

>> kitties over here. what's the first thing you want to do with a new kitten.

>> a lot of times people think that cats are self-sufficient but we need our help in adjusting. these cats are doing well adjusting.

>> very entertaining.

>> very entertaining.

>> look. we should point out they're actually brothers, aren't they?

>> yeah, it's like the wwf of the cat world.

>> don't break a paw.

>> what you want to do with cats is confine them to one small room for at least a week or two.

>> and they were saying cats are aloof. but if you cuddle them more when they're little they learn to be cuddly.

>> they get a reputation of being antisocial and it's not true but with a loving home and people that socialize them properly they can be wonderful companions.

>> if you give them something to scratch will they do it and not your couch.

>> you can see how active these kittens are.

>> what a move.

>> is that a different kind of kitty box.

>> get a shallow box and put it in the one room so they're inclined to go to the bathroom there. if you let them run loose in the house and put the litter box in the bathroom somewhere, you can't be sure they're going to find the litter box .

>> look.

>> these guys are like, what's happening? look. i can do that too. look at me. i can do it too.

>> cancel the rest of the show. we're going to watch the cats wrestle for the next 30 minutes .

>> real quick, a lot of times when people see kittens play this way they think it's cute. don't use your hands as a play thing with your cats. you want to make sure you use toys that teach your cats not to be rough with their hands. that's a toy on a string and far away from them. let's see if i can distract them, i doubt it. so that your hands aren't involved.

>> same with dogs kind of? have a thing they play with.

>> i'd say yes. with dogs, make sure that you teach them to focus on toys that are appropriate instead of chewing on your hands.

>> you already taught frank a submission hold on yogi impressive. if you're interested in adopting any of these guys and how could you not, contact the humane society of new