If you have just adopted a dog and this is a first time for you, you are probably excited and nervous. As with any new pet, it does take a little time to adjust. But, with patience and preparation, the new addition to your family will be happy in no time. Of course, this could apply to cats too, but dogs are a little more work (sometimes).
1. Buy your pet supplies in advance
When you bring your new dog home, make sure to have all your supplies ready for your pup. Make sure to buy a leash, some dog food, a water bowl and then, of course, a toy or two. And order an identification tag. Some shelters will recommend or already have a pet identification chip implanted in your pup which is always a good idea so you can always find him if he runs away.
2. Make sure to bring your dog home when you have time to bond
When you bring your newly adopted dog home, make sure it is when you have some time. If you work during the week, it might be a good idea to bring the dog home over the weekend when you can spend some time with him or her. It is important to have some initial bonding time with your new found pet. If you have other pets, you might want to separate them for a while until everyone gets to know each other.
3. Take your dog to the Vet for a check up
When you bring a dog home from a shelter, many of the shelters and/or rescue groups are really great about giving your pups the shots they need. However, if it is an older dog, the shelter might not have the exact medical records for your pup, so it is best to bring your dog the vet. Further, if you have other pets at home, make sure they are all up to date on their shots and vaccinations.
If your dog has not been spayed or neutered, make the appointment as soon as possible. There are too many homeless puppies and dogs which is why you adopted your dog from a shelter in the first place! Your veterinarian will let you know when is the best time to spray or neuter your dog.
4. Your dog will need to training and discipline
Dogs need rules and a semblance of order. Make sure your dog knows that you are the ‘boss’ from the start. If you catch your pup doing something you don’t want him to do, don’t get angry. Simply let your dog know right away in a disapproving voice that he or she has misbehaved. On the flip side, make sure to reward your dog for doing the right thing with love and praise. It is also recommended to enroll your dog in a dog obedience training or group. A well trained dog is a happy dog.
5. Your dog might not be housetrained
When you bring home a dog from a shelter, he or she might need a housetraining reminder. If you haven’t housetrained a dog before, you can get some tips on how to housetrain your dog from your trainer or from the rescue group. Like all training, be consistent, do NOT get angry if your dog has an accident and praise your dog for eliminating in the correct places.
6. Crate Training
People and dog advocates have different thoughts on crate training. Some dog owners don’t like the idea of putting a dog in a crate. But, it really is more of a room for your dog. It certainly makes housetraining a lot easier. And the crate does not have to be for the entire day, just a few hours a date. If you decide to go this route, make sure that the crate does not have wire where your dog’s paws will get caught and it should be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and sit comfortably. If crating isn’t an option for you, try another kind of confinement to a dog-proofed part of your home, such as a kitchen or family room.
7. Make sure to give your dog plenty of exercise
When bringing your new dog home, you need to make sure to you give your dog plenty of exercise and game time. Take your dog on a run or walk with you. Go to the dog park and throw a Frisbee or twig; get your new pup up and out. If you go on an outing, take your dog with you. This will give your new pup a sense of freedom and fun.
8. Patience and understanding
The most important thing you can do for your dog is to be patient and understanding in your expectations. Remember that this is a big (but great) adjustment for your dog so you will need to give your pup a little time to acclimate. But with love, caring and understanding, your dog will be a new happy member of your family in no time!
I first learned of Santito, the special needs kitten, on Facebook when a friend of mine brought him to my attention. I was immediately moved and blown away by Santito’s story. Santito is a special needs kitten that has limited mobility of his back legs and is incontinent. He actually wears diapers. I contacted Santito’s Mom, Eden, and she was kind enough to share his story with me.
Santito was found with his back legs destroyed
Santito was found at two months old with his back legs all but destroyed. He was so covered in dirt, blood and fleas that she thought he was a black kitten. It was only after three baths that it became clear that little Santito was a white and gray kitten. He was suffering severe dehydration, malnutrition, and worst of all, nerve damage and paralysis of his hind area.
Yet, he was purring and playful and literally the sweetest little thing she ever met. Right from the start, he wanted to kiss the rescuer’s noses as he seemed to know how lucky he was and was grateful. At first, things were touch and go with Santito - he couldn't move his back legs at all and just dragged them behind him (something which had caused even more problems for his already damaged legs), was completely incontinent, and bounced between severe diarrhea severe constipation.
This is Santito at 3 months, climbing up his cat tree
Three different vets told them that he wouldn’t make it
Three different vets told Eden and the other rescuers to "just euthanize him" within the first week of his rescue. But this little guy was so full of life - wide-eyed, playful, cuddly, loving, that they couldn't imagine ending his life when he had fought so hard already to keep it. Eden wouldn’t accept that and pressed on.
But they knew Santito would pull through
Seeing how lively he was, they took Santito to a specialist who tested him and discovered that, although he had nerve damage, he still had deep sensory perception and mobility, and could potentially recover - at least partially if not totally. So Kitten Rescue decided to give this little guy a fighting chance. They started him in therapy at California Animal Rehabilitation and began various experiments with vitamins, food combinations, medications, etc., to normalize his system and give him the nutrition he had been lacking.
Santitio is now 9 months old and on his way!
Santito now has the mobility of his back legs, though he walks a little strangely but he can walk with all four legs and climb, pummel, and run, and can't QUITE jump...yet. He is still incontinent (he has to wear diapers) but he gains a little more control every day and no longer has any problems with diarrhea or constipation and he is off all his medication! This little champ has taught all his rescuers and his Mom that you don’t give up on life and keep fighting.
Santito and some of is other special needs buddies have been give a new lease on life, thanks to the Kitten Rescue (http://www.kittenrescue.org/). Kitten Rescue volunteers place approximately 1,000 cats and kittens into new homes every year. Since its inception, Kitten Rescue has rescued and placed over 10,000 cats into loving homes. They are an incredible group!
And you can meet the wonderful Santito on his facebook page which gives you more fun information on Santito: (and he is a new member of petpav!).
If you adopted a dog from a shelter or animal rescue group, there is a chance that your dog might be skittish or fearful of people or other animals. Some dogs adapt quickly into their new home while other dogs need a little help from you and your family. If you take the time to understand what the dog’s fears and/or needs are, he or she will adjust in time.
Below are some tips to help your dog relax with you and your family.
Give your dog freedom to adjust to new surroundings
Allow your new dog to get the feel of his new home and if you have other dogs, allow the dogs to socialize without too much input from you. Too much attention or protection could cause jealousy. Watch carefully from the sidelines and try to not show favoritism. Your dogs should establish their family first. Allow the new dog to explore, find a favorite place and learn what is what in your home.
Try to understand your dog’s body language
Recognize your dog’s body language. Yawning and licking lips can be signs of nervousness. Your skittish dog might sit off to the side while you cook dinner or do your household errands as he or she watches while yawning and licking her lips. Ignore her behavior at first. After a few days, look her way, smile and say her name in a soothing voice. Calming her and helping her feel safe is important in helping her heal.
Try to gain your dog’s trust slowly
Give your dog some space, but also make time to spend with you new pup. You need to show your dog that you will not hurt him when you touch him. Take him on a morning walk and spend some time with him or her after. Start by simply sitting with her on the floor at his or her level. As soon as she is comfortable at this level, stroke her head and say her name, working up to a fully body pet and hug. Be patient and don’t take it personally if she doesn’t want the attention.
Be very lenient with accidents or strange behavior
Try no to overreact to accidents or strange behavior. Expect that your dog might pee in the house and do your best to just clean it up and not punish your new pup. If you act like it is not a big deal, your new dog will get over it faster. Sometimes, the only attention some rescue dogs have ever received from their owners is punishment. Dogs are social and they will do what it takes for some human interaction. Your new dog may have learned that accidents mean attention, so you’ll need to show her that she only gets attention from good behavior.
You need to be patient with your new dog
Be forgiving and patient with your new dog. There will be setbacks and you and your dog will make mistakes. However, with time and patience, your dog will come around. Dogs are inherently social so he or she will enjoy the love and compassion. And always reward your dog for good behavior. Positive reinforcement is the best way to gain your dog’s love and trust.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that some dogs take longer than others to adjust. But, with time, love and patience, you and your dog will be the best of friends.
When you are looking to bring a new, adopted dog into your home, please think about our older dogs. It is tempting to adopt a puppy because, well, how can you resist a puppy? But, if you stop to think about it, there are a lot of advantages in adopting an older dog. And, wouldn’t that make you feel even better that you gave an older dog a home?
Below are some reasons why senior dogs are easier to manage and should be adopted!
Older dogs are more predictable
Older dogs tend to be more predictable in their behavior patterns. You usually see what you get. While an adopted or older dog might be shy or timid, their behavior patterns are generally set and they tend to be more settled. With proper love and care, a shy dog can easily adapt into a warm and happy dog. Yet, with a puppy, they have has so much growing up to do that their behavior is less predictable in the short term.
Don’t you love your sleep?
With younger puppies, the likelihood of their sleeping through the night is slim to none. Their bladders are not fully developed and can usually last only four hours before they need to be let out of the house. However, with an older dog, the chances are pretty high that you can get a full night’s sleep.
Older dogs tend to be housetrained
When you adopt an older dog, there tends to be a lot less ‘clean up’ from the start. It is common knowledge that puppies go through the housebreaking process and will most likely leave their little marks all over the house. And, most puppies, are teething and like to play a little rougher so who knows what they will eat or chew.
With an older dog, they are usually house trained and less likely to rip up your furniture since they don’t have that abundant energy and have already been through that phase of their life. Don’t get me wrong; older dogs come with their own set of issues and/or old habits, but they are almost always housebroken.
Older dogs are easier to train
While some older dogs are a little set in their ways, most are easier to train. The older dogs are more relaxed and have a greater attention span. Therefore, they look and listen more readily. Think of taking an older dog on a walk opposed to a puppy. The puppy is all over the place and excited running back and forth whereas an older dog is less likely to run off and ignore you.
Older dogs are less likely to be adopted
The most important reason to adopt an older dog is that they are usually in the shelter longer. Most puppies are the first to go and the easiest to adopt. Therefore you are not only giving the dog a new home, but sparing him or her for life in a kennel or even worse. And, older dogs will so appreciate the benefits of a new, loving family whereas a puppy doesn’t yet know the difference. You and your older doggy will be the better for it!
There are so many reasons to adopt an older or senior dog, so please try to be open-minded when you are looking for a new dog for your home!
I, Sammy, was at the Vet the other day waiting in my little carrier for my annual check up. I was licking my paws, minding my own business, when I saw the big and bold, Joanna, a STRAY, who was sitting next to her Mom (who just adopted her) waiting for a check-up. We caught eyes and my inner-kitty MEOWED.
My mom knew something was up, so she took me out of my carrier and brought me onto her lap. She had never seen me like this before…I was purring and shivering, my fur up on its ends! I stretched out to show my gorgeous orange and white fur to this oh-so-pleasing gal! I wonder if she’ll like me? Does this big bulldog act like this all the other felines?
It was at that moment that Joanna looked at me with this domineering stare and I could only think ‘er’ . Would I be pleasing to her doggie ways? Can I still take my fifteen naps a day?
Joanna’s mom, sensing our chemistry, let go of Joanna’s grey leash. Joanna ambled over to me and pointed to a nearby food bowl. “Eat” she barked… You need your energy for what I have planned for you, Mr. Sam. She then proceeded to bark orders at me: Sit, Stay! So I sat up, the best that I could!
You need your strength if you are going to proceed into my grey doggy crate of disdain, Mr. Sam!
My inner-cat conscious was reeling. I stuck out my tongue, bit my lower jaw and muttered “Meow”. Joanna went crazy as she barked ‘do NOT bite your lower jaw’ it makes me ruff ruff around the edges. Joanna then motioned to her grey leash that she had around her neck.
Holy Crap.. I murmur! Oh My….. What does this dom dog have planned for a mellow cat like me? She is such a control freak. She’s fifty shades of a stray!
The Vet then calls my Mom’s name and my Mom picks me up. “Sam.. I don’t know what’s gotten into you; it’s time for your check up”.
Joanna starts barking and sashays towards me. “Don’t leave me…. I’ll be in pain if I never see you again. I have never met a cat like you… Saaammuel!”
I turned her way and meowed “ Laters, baby” as we entered the vet’s office, my life furever changed.
Meet Sammy and Joanna on petpav.com where the pets ALWAYS have something to say!