October is National Pet Adoption Month

53dc0374ce93c.pngOctober is National Pet Adoption Month and many people constantly are adopting pets from rescue organizations.  Peoples lives are enriched in ways that they have never dreamed possible.  Bringing home a new pet is such an exciting and fulfilling experience, but it can be a bit daunting as well, especially if you have never shared your home with a furry companion.  Here are some tips to get your relationship off on the right foot.

Be prepared  Before you bring your pet home, determine where your pet will be spending most of its time.  Because it will be under a lot of stress with the change of environment, it may forget any housebreaking it has learned.  An area with tiled, pergo, or linoleum floors may be best because it is easiest to clean up.  You will also need to dog-proof the area where your pet will spend most of its time.  This may mean taping loose electrical cords to baseboards, storing chemicals on high shelves, removing plants, rugs and breakables.  The more prepared that you are, the smoother your new family member’s transition will be.

Shop for the basics  You will need a leash, collar, food and water dishes and of course food.  It is best to know what your new adoptee is eating as an abrupt diet change can cause diarrhea and other problems.  If you change its diet, do it as a gradual change like maybe over 10 to 14 days.  One other thing to buy is a medal id tag.  It does not replace microchipping, but it does help some.  If you are planning on crate training your pet, it is best to wait and take your pet with you to purchase it.  This way you will get the proper size.

Consistency  Make sure all family members are on the same page.  Ground rules need to be set and the family members need to agree to follow and enforce them.  For instance, if you don’t want your new pup on the couch, all the training in the world won’t help if your child lets it sit there with you when you are not home.  Also, caring for your pet is a family effort and endeavor, so it is important that everyone understands their particular roles and responsibilities.

Adjustment  Over the first few days to few weeks, your new pet will be undergoing an adjustment period.  These surrounding are new to him, so you may notice some anxiety issues that may include appetite loss or suppressed bowel habits.  It may even hide under or behind furniture or stay in one room.  Don’t be alarmed-this is absolutely normal behavior.  Give the pet time to acclimate to your home and family.  By showing patience, you will help it through a tough, scary time and it will show the pet how wonderful his new home really is.

Set Schedule  It is best to set a schedule for 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 it when it whines when left alone.  Instead, give it attention for good behavior, such as chewing on a toy or resting quietly.  By sticking with a schedule that you created, your pet will be bonded with you in no time and the pet will be showing its true personality.

Veterinary Care  Schedule a first visit to your pet’s veterinarian during the first week.  Bring any and all medical and vaccination records that were supplied by the shelter or rescue from which you adopted your dog.  This first visit os a great time to get clues about your pet’s personality and past history, so don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions.  Also, if your pet is not microchipped, this is a good time to do it because true love is hard to replace.

Congratulations!  If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to having a well-adjusted family member. Make sure to contact us if you have any questions!