Monthly Archives: January 2017

Tips for the first 30 days of Dog Adoption

The first few days in your home are special and critical for a pet.

Your new dog will be confused about where he is and what to expect from you.

Setting up some clear structure with your family for your dog will be paramount in making as smooth a transition as possible.

BEFORE YOU BRING YOUR PET HOME

 

  • Determine where your dog will be spending most of his time. Because he will be under a lot of stress with the change of environment (from shelter or foster home to your house), he may forget any housebreaking (if any) he’s learned. Often a kitchen will work best for easy clean-up.
  • If you plan on crate training your dog, be sure to have a crate set-up and ready to go for when you bring your new dog home.
  • Dog-proof the area where your pooch will spend most of his time during the first few months. This may mean taping loose electrical cords to baseboards; storing household chemicals on high shelves; removing plants, rugs, and breakables; setting up the crate, and installing baby gates.
  • Training your dog will start the first moment you have him. Take time to create a vocabulary list everyone will use when giving your dog directions. This will help prevent confusion and help your dog learn his commands more quickly.
  • Bring an ID tag with your phone number on it with you when you pick up your dog so that he has an extra measure of safety for the ride home and the first few uneasy days. If he is microchipped, be sure to register your contact information with the chip’s company, if the rescue or shelter did not already do so.

Related: Rules of thumb in positive reinforcement

First Day:

  • We know moving is stressful — and your new dog feels the same way! Give him time to acclimate to your home and family before introducing him to strangers. Make sure children know how to approach the dog without overwhelming him.
  • When you pick up your dog, remember to ask what and when he was fed. Replicate that schedule for at least the first few days to avoid gastric distress. If you wish to switch to a different brand, do so over a period of about a week by adding one part new food to three parts of the old for several days; then switch to half new food, half old, and then one part old to three parts new.
  • On the way home, your dog should be safely secured, preferably in a crate. Some dogs find car trips stressful, so having him in a safe place will make the trip home easier on him and you.
  • Once home, take him to his toileting area immediately and spend a good amount of time with him so he will get used to the area and relieve himself. Even if your dog does relieve himself during this time, be prepared for accidents. Coming into a new home with new people, new smells and new sounds can throw even the most housebroken dog off-track, so be ready just in case.
  • If you plan on crate training your dog, leave the crate open so that he can go in whenever he feels like it in case he gets overwhelmed.
  • From there, start your schedule of feeding, toileting and play/exercise. From Day One, your dog will need family time and brief periods of solitary confinement. Don’t give in and comfort him if he whines when left alone. Instead, give him attention for good behavior, such as chewing on a toy or resting quietly.
  • For the first few days, remain calm and quiet around your dog, limiting too much excitement (such as the dog park or neighborhood children). Not only will this allow your dog to settle in easier, it will give you more one-on-one time to get to know him and his likes/dislikes.
  • If he came from another home, objects like leashes, hands, rolled up newspapers and magazines, feet, chairs and sticks are just some of the pieces of “training equipment” that may have been used on this dog. Words like “come here” and “lie down” may bring forth a reaction other than the one you expect.Or maybe he led a sheltered life and was never socialized to children or sidewalk activity. This dog may be the product of a never-ending series of scrambled communications and unreal expectations that will require patience on your part.

Related: How much exercise does your dog need

Following Weeks:

  • People often say they don’t see their dog’s true personality until several weeks after adoption. Your dog may be a bit uneasy at first as he gets to know you. Be patient and understanding while also keeping to the schedule you intend to maintain for feeding, walks, etc. This schedule will show your dog what is expected of him as well as what he can expect from you.
  • After discussing it with your veterinarian to ensure your dog has all the necessary vaccines, you may wish to take your dog to group training classes or the dog park. Pay close attention to your dog’s body language to be sure he’s having a good time — and is not fearful or a dog park bully.
  • To have a long and happy life together with your dog, stick to the original schedule you created, ensuring your dog always has the food, potty time and attention he needs. You’ll be bonded in no time!
  • If you encounter behavior issues you are unfamiliar with, ask your veterinarian for a trainer recommendation. Select a trainer who uses positive-reinforcement techniques to help you and your dog overcome these behavior obstacles.Congratulations! If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to having a well-adjusted canine family member.

SOURCE: http://www.zalaw.com/images/happy-dog.jpg

SOURCE: https://www.petfinder.com/dogs/bringing-a-dog-home/tips-for-first-30-days-dog/


 

Does Your Dog Need a Winter Coat or Boots?

When winter winds come whistling, I’m the first to don a heavy overcoat, a knit hat and boots — and my dogs aren’t far behind. It’s a common misconception that dogs, equipped by nature with fur coats and a higher body temperature than humans, will do just fine in cold weather without accessories such as sweaters, coats and booties. That might be true for hardy sled dogs who spend their days in training for the Iditarod, but I can assure you that dogs with short or thin coats or those with certain size or health limitations need just as much protection from the cold as you or I do. Here’s what you need to know about dressing your dog for winter.

Coat Check
Dogs with short, thin or fine coats feel the cold quickly — but that doesn’t mean that your pooch needs to bundle up every time he leaves the house. If your dog is going outdoors for a quick potty outing and coming right back inside, no need to wrestle him into a sweater or coat and booties. The same is true if you’re going for a brisk walk. Chris Zink, DVM, a canine sports medicine authority, says dogs who are exercising continuously shouldn’t need a coat because they create their own heat.

But if that brisk walk takes your thin-coated dog through the snow, or if he’ll be running through areas where ground water could splash up and freeze on him, then a coat or sweater is a good idea. Dr. Zink also recommends protecting certain sensitive body parts — some coats made for field dogs provide coverage of the penis and testicles.

Dogs who spend time outdoors but aren’t consistently active during that time can benefit from a sweater or coat to help them conserve body heat. For these dogs, I recommend a lightweight sweater or coat that won’t restrict your pooch’s front-leg movement. We (my dogs and I) are big fans of Fido Fleece. Have a couple on hand so your dog will always have a dry one to wear; putting a damp coat or sweater on will just make him colder.

Bassets, Dachshunds, Corgis and other small dogs may lose heat more quickly because their low stature or small body size puts them in closer contact with snow. Other dogs who may appreciate the comfort of a coat include pets with Cushing’s disease, diabetes, or heart or kidney disease. Their health conditions may make it more difficult for them to regulate their body temperature. Young puppies and old dogs are also more susceptible to chills. And even if your dog has a long or thick coat, he’s not made to spend hours outdoors in below-freezing weather without protection.

Finally, remember that while a coat can keep your dog warm, it can make it difficult or impossible for him to escape if he falls through ice into water. Avoid situations where that could happen.

To Shoe or Not to Shoe
What about those paws? Do dogs really need booties? That’s a matter of opinion. Some dogs can benefit from them, especially if they have furry feet that collect ice and snow between the toes, but fit is super important.

Booties should be comfortable, without rubbing against the dog’s paws, and of course they need to actually stay on. Dr. Zink says booties are most important for sled dogs running long distances, dogs walking on surfaces covered with salt or ice melter, which can be toxic, and dogs with hairy paws that collect snowballs. Be prepared to try out lots of booties until you find the ones that are right for your dog’s tootsies.

If you can’t find booties that fit well, or if your dog flat-out refuses to wear them, you can take other steps to protect his paws. As soon as he comes inside, soak his paws for a few seconds in a bowl of warm water, then dry them thoroughly. (If he’s a little guy, wipe down his legs and belly too.) You can also trim the fur between his toes to help reduce or prevent the accumulation of ice and snow there, which can cut the feet or cause your dog to limp. Help prevent cracked and bleeding paw pads by applying petroleum jelly or paw wax before your dog goes outside.

POST SOURCE: VetStreet
IMAGE SOURCE: KURGO