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Here’s what to do if your pet gets a ‘sly’ name and starts behaving badly.


Go online to your local animal welfare group and ask them to contact the ASPCA, who will help you get a new name for your pet.

They will probably be able to offer you a name that is less confusing, but not too confusing.


Find out if your cat or dog is known to be ‘sassy’.

If so, it may be a good idea to make sure your cat and dog are neutered.


Take your cat to a vet to get a ‘spay and neuter’ certificate if he or she is old enough.

You will also need to get your dog’s vaccinations.


If you can, get a dog license.

If your pet does not have a ‘normal’ name, it is likely that it has been known to misbehave or get into trouble.

There are some good advice on the ASPA website on how to get an animal license.


If it is a puppy, go to a shelter and adopt the puppy, even if it has not been neutered or vaccinated.

You can also get a copy of the adoption order to help you decide whether to adopt.


If the puppy is young, ask your vet if she would like to see it rehomed.

You may be able get a list of suitable houses, which may be cheaper than buying the puppy outright.


Find a new pet name that you can use if you are planning to keep the old one.

If this is not possible, you may be free to change the name of your dog.

You should make sure that the new name does not contain any offensive or disparaging words.

You could also consider writing down the name yourself and giving it to the new owner.


If all else fails, try contacting your local veterinary health department.

They can offer advice on what to look for in a name.


If a dog is a pet of a family member, make sure the family is not keeping it indoors.

It is not likely that the dog would be allowed outdoors if it was in the house.

If, however, you are worried about keeping the dog indoors, ask the family if they would like it spayed or neutered, or if they will take it indoors when the family gets back.


You might be able for your local vet to give you advice on whether it is safe to keep a dog as a pet.

If not, you can always take it to a friend and ask for advice from them.

Your local animal health team will not be able, however.

You would need to be comfortable taking your pet outside.

You need to consider what you will do if the dog is ill, injured or dies.

You also need some extra time to think about what you are going to do to keep it.

This can involve deciding whether you will keep it in your home or not, and what you can do to make it feel safer.