Bringing a New Dog Home
Before you bring your new dog home be sure to prepare for the new addition to your family. First, get the dog an ID tag with your information on it (name, phone number, address).
Before leaving the adoption site, check that your new dog’s collar is not too loose. Be sure to place the dog’s new ID tag on the collar. Many dogs in new situations pull out of their collars and run. If your dog pulls out of her collar, she will be loose in a strange area with contact information on her/his collar it will be her ticket home.
Never expect a new dog to just walk with you by your side. Dogs need to be taught how to maintain their composure while walking make sure to keep your new dog on lead except in a fenced-in yard. Always use a leash or lead near traffic, since your dog will encounter many new sights and sounds that can be a distraction or cause the pets to become fearful and run into the street.
What does my new dog need?
To be happy and healthy, your dog will need the following:
- Constant access to a bowl of fresh, clean drinking water
- A nutritionally balanced diet
- A safe place to eliminate outside
- Some daily exercise
If she hasn’t had any yet, your new dog will also need some training. Humane trainers do not use chain or prong collars, nor do they advocate yanking on or lifting the dog by the collar. When selecting a class be sure to find a humane trainer. Your dog needs you to be the leader so you will also benefit from the training classes. If you don’t function as the leader, your dog will start making decisions on her own, some of which may be inappropriate or dangerous.
Your dog also needs daily, loving interaction with you and a social life. Socialize your dog by bringing him on car rides, letting him be around children and other dogs, taking him to the groomer, shopping with him at pet food stores, and walking him in public places.
Give your new dog structure and consistency in its daily routine to give him a healthy feeling of stability as a member of the family. The relationship between your family and your new family member can be great if you are patient and positive.
You should also select a veterinarian with whom you are comfortable, since you’ll need to bring your dog in for regular checkups. Finally, find out what the local dog laws are (such as leash laws) and what the licensing requirements are for dogs in your area.
Do I need to dog-proof my house?
Before your new dog arrives, you should dog-proof your home in much the same way that you would child-proof your home for a toddler. Look at your home from a dog’s eye level. What can he reach? If you don’t want him drinking out of the toilet, tell everyone in the household to make sure they put the cover down. If anyone in the house smokes, put ashtrays out of reach, since cigarette butts, if eaten, can lead to nicotine poisoning.
Will his wagging tail inadvertently wreak havoc on your prize possessions? Dog tails have been known to sweep the contents off the top of a coffee table. If you like to keep lit candles around, make sure they are above the dog’s reach. Is there anything he can trip on or become tangled in (such as electrical cords)?
How can I prevent my new dog from chewing up my stuff?
If your new dog has her own toys, she may not be as interested in chewing up your things .Buy durable rubber or nylon toys that satisfy the dogs urge to chew. Toys that you can stuff treats into (like Kongs and Buster Cubes) should keep her occupied for a good long while. If she starts chewing one of your personal items, immediately get her interested in a dog toy instead.
What should I know about making my yard safe?
Do an inspection of your yard. Is your yard completely fenced in? Are there any spaces or gaps that your new dog or puppy can squeeze through or under? Is there anything that he can climb on that would allow him to escape over the fence?
- Antifreeze is another hazard for dogs – it is toxic and can be fatal. Dogs are attracted to its sweet taste.
- Dogs have been known to drown in backyard pools when they jumped or fell in and couldn’t get out.
- You should also make sure your trashcans have tight lids to avoid “dumpster diving” by your dog.
- Be sure to check your yard for safety before your new dog comes home. If you haven’t done this prior to the dog’s arrival.