Contributed by Sandy McPadden Animal Training
Have your munchkins been asking, pleading, begging for a dog?
Have you given any serious thought to bringing a pooch into your family?
Knee jerk thought is- “clearly we would have to get a puppy.” Not the case. Did you know that you can foster an animal from a local animal rescue? When you are a foster you are giving a homeless pet a temporary home until their “fur-ever” home is found. This is an amazing way to “try out” a rescue dog to see if they will be a great fit in your family and home before committing to a new pet only to find that it just isn’t right…AND bonus points in teaching your kids about helping others. (cool right?)
Here are some pointers in bringing your new pet home…whether he be a puppy or a rescue pooch.
- Buckle Collar (harness for small dogs-collars can collapse their tracheas!)
- ID tags/microchip
- Wire crate
- Pet bed
- Good quality dog food
- Water & food bowls
Before Pooch comes home Have Fidos bowls set up, put his bed down, set up the kennel and toss out some toys. Make sure to put away anything laying on the floor that is not a toy for your pooch or he may get confused.
Tips when you get home
When you get to your home Take Fido straight out to the back yard, unleash, ignore and wait for him to go potty. When he does throw a potty party! …this is a great way to set him up for success, better outside than in your house right?
Set the ground rules
Set your pooch up for success from the beginning ie: If your pooch is not going to be allowed on the couch then the first day is no exception, if he is not allowed to jump then now is when you start enforcing that.
The first few days
The first few days are going to be a lot of getting to know your new family members behaviors, good and bad. For the first few days keep your pooch in the same room as you at all times. Sometimes they will naturally follow and sometimes it takes coaxing, but by doing this you are able to keep a close eye on those tail-tail signs of trouble
- smelling around looking for a place to go potty
- picking up items that are not his toys
- getting onto furniture that is off-limits
- showing aggression to another pet or family member
All of this is completely normal when introducing a new pet into your home. It is your responsibility to prevent it from happening again and by starting as soon as you bring him home you are setting the example of your home rules. Remember that your pet is probably going to be nervous in his new home. There are new people, pets, sounds, smell, rooms, food, neighbors…I could go on and on. It is ok to see your new pet anxious and pacing, sometimes even panting. The most common stressor to new pet owners is “I don’t think he likes me.” Do not be surprised if it takes your pooch about a month to warm up to his new surroundings, that means you too!
Take “He is totally potty trained” with a grain of salt. When you bring Fido home he is in a completely new environment and this could very well change, but you’re in luck because potty training any age dog simply needs consistency. Accidents when you first bring your new pet home are common; after all it is very stressful moving in with a whole new family. Keeping Fido close by in the beginning is best and when you are not directly able to supervise, in the kennel is where he should be. Here are some tips to help you make a smooth transition:
- Kennel training
- As soon as your pet wakes up, its outside he goes
- When pooch is outside pay no attention to him until he goes potty…then party!!!
- 15 min after eating or drinking go outside