Author’s Note: This is a guest post written by the wonderful Miss Morgan from the blog Temporary Home, Permanent Love. There you can find pictures of her current fosters as well as tips for caring for dogs and got a chance to volunteer at Villabos (featured on Pitbulls & Parolees). She has wonderful, thoughtful and informative posts, please take a moment to follow her blog and read her posts.
DO remember that all dogs are individuals. Don’t miss out on meeting your very best friend just because he isn’t the breed you might have imagined for yourself.
Talk with the rescue/foster parent/shelter employee and tell them about your lifestyle and what you are looking for in a dog; they will tell you if the dog you are interested in is a realistic match for you. Keep your mind open if they suggest a different dog. Remember, looks are only skin, errr, fur deep, so if a dog that doesn’t look like what you imagined fits your lifestyle, go with it!
DON’T forget to be patient. When you are adopting a new dog, remember that even if they haven’t had a bad past, they have still have had inconsistency up until you.
It is your job to be patient with them and allow them to have time to realize they are home, forever. A two week de-stress period is highly recommended. Basically, you want to use this time to bond with your new dog in your home. Keep things nice and quiet, limit visitors, and hold off on all the grand adventures you might have planned. Your new dogs really needs this time to settle in, figure out the new routine, get comfortable, and bond with you. Slow and steady wins the race!
DO get your new dog’s space all ready for him. Set up the food and water dish and crate so that from the very first day he knows where he can find everything.
Remember, you want the first two weeks to be nice and quiet. Rushing out to the store or erecting a crate is bigger excitements than you ideally will present him on his first day in your home.
DON’T rush an interaction if you already have a pooch and are adding the new dog to your family. Remember that your current dog’s life is about to change and your new dog’s life has also just changed. There is no point in rushing an interaction while they are both under stress and might react different than they would if given the appropriate two weeks to settle in and de-stress. They have the rest of their lives to be best friends; let them have a couple of weeks to slowly adjust to the idea of living with each other. Start with walks together and as long as they are showing positive body language you can then graduate to letting them meet off leash, then play together for brief periods, then finally stay out in the house together (supervised of course!) Again, slow and steady wins the race!
DO plan to crate train your dog! This is for his safety as well as the safety of your home. In some ways dogs are like children. If left unsupervised, odds are the way they will choose to entertain themselves is not going to something you like. A very
simple way to make crate time fun and exciting for your dog is to have a frozen Kong prepared (you can stuff it with peanut butter, treats, and anything else you like that is safe for dogs) and give it to him only when he is to be crated. When you get home and let him out, put the Kong up until the next crate time. They will quickly associate their crate with yummy Kongs!
DON’T forget about your veterinarian. Even if you get your dog from a shelter and he has all of his vaccines it is still a great idea to get your dog established at a vet’s office.
DO find a trainer and/or facility where you can enroll in obedience classes. This is a fantastic way to bond with your dog and learn how to communicate with each other. Dogs are highly intelligent; putting their brains to work is always a great idea! Also, it’s always reassuring to have someone that is knowledgeable you can turn to if you are having questions about your new dog.
DON’T be afraid to reach out to the rescue/shelter/foster parent/or anyone else for help if you feel overwhelmed or have questions. Dogs are a huge responsibility and will completely change your life. It’s normal to have questions. Just remember that you have made a lifetime commitment to this beautiful creature and in return, he will love you unconditionally every single day of his life. You have your work and friends and hobbies, he only has you. The love you give will be returned ten fold!
Author’s Note: Many many thanks to Miss Morgan, please follow her blog Temporary Home, Permanent Love or visit her on facebook page of the same name as she has mainly wonderful stories to share about her dogs and her experiences.
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