New Dog Tips
Shakespeare was rescued from the Carson Animal Shelter
Welcoming Your New Dog
Congratulations on the new addition to your family! No doubt you are very excited. However, try to keep in mind the confusion your dog will be feeling. The dog is likely to be a little disoriented, wondering where he is and who are these new people. Here are some tips for helping your new dog adjust.
Choose a relatively quiet time to bring your dog home-the beginning of a free weekend is ideal. Introduce each family member one at a time, so your dog can get to know each person. If you already have a dog, introduce them in neutral territory—a park or playground within walking distance is a good choice. When they get to know each other in this setting, if all goes well, you can walk them both back home. Be sure to put your resident dog’s toys, food bowl and bed out of the way at first to avoid “Hey, that’s mine!” problems during these early introductions. I find it best to have separate food bowls for each dog. You may want to keep both dogs on their leashes at first, and if possible, have someone else hold the resident dog and you hold the new dog to avoid problems of protective instincts. Slowly reintroduce toys, food bowls and sleeping areas as the dogs become accustomed to each other and establish their respective roles in the household.
Dogs feel most secure on a regular and predictable schedule. This is especially important when your dog is first introduced to a new environment. Feed him in the same place and time each day, and take him out for exercise at regular intervals. Try to settle him down to sleep, get him up in the morning and take him out at regular times. These routines provide stability and comfort, which are very important for your dog’s well-being.
Undivided attention is the key to quality time, but sometimes our busy schedules make that difficult. One of the best ways to meet your dog’s need for daily love and attention is to set aside a portion of every day that you spend together exclusively. This is the time when you romp together, exercise, practice obedience lessons, or just sit quietly and brush or pet him.
Dog Walking Services and Daycare
It is very important that your dog get daily exercise. You can hire one of the many local dog walking services to exercise your dog while you are at work. Or, you can even drop your pooch off at doggie daycare. See SouthBayDoggieDaycare.com for information on two doggie daycare centers in the South Bay.
Many dog owners know intuitively when their pet is ill, but with a new dog, whose personality and moods are still unpredictable, it may not be as easy to see that something is wrong. It can take over a week for illnesses picked up at the animal shelter to incubate. Watch for these signs: loss of appetite, sudden weight loss or gain, prolonged gradual weight loss, sluggishness, excessive thirst, overly frequent urination or deficient urination, bloody or loose and unformed stools, diarrhea, persistent vomiting, excessive salivating or irregular breathing, and dull coat. It’s essential that you take the dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible if these symptoms are present.
Sometimes an abandoned dog experiences excessive fear that it will be abandoned again. Excessive barking or tearing up of your furniture, curtains or clothes can result when you leave the dog alone. To ease separation anxiety, practice in the first day or two leaving the dog for five to ten minutes several times a day. This lets the dog know that when you leave, you will be coming back. Reward the dog when you return with a biscuit or praise.