The day has arrived to bring your new pet home. You did your research and now have found the perfect animal to join your family. This is a very exciting time for most of us, but it also comes with the stress and worry about the animal fitting in with your current lifestyle; including other pets! For this article, we are focusing on adopting a new dog.
Thankfully, Barbara, an animal behaviorist consultant with My Pet Has Issues, has volunteered her time to review a few things you can do to help you pet feel more at ease during this stressful time.
Here are a few tips, with help from Barbara:
1st Have a designated safe place prepared: It is very exciting to bring a new pet home, and it can be very overwhelming for the new family member who is moving in too. Barbara recommends having a designated place prepared to allow your dog to feel comfortable and relaxed. This is an area that allows the dog to be alone, feel secure and also take in their new surroundings. Once you bring your new pet home, show them the safe place and allow them time to get acquainted.
2nd Introductions controlled and slowly: As mentioned above, having a safe place allows the dog to have an area to be secured. Your new pet will come out and roam as they are ready. It is important to let the dog come up to you as they are ready, and to not force introductions. As Barbara stated, “allow the dog to choose to go up to someone on their own, in their own time, when they are ready.” Keep the introductions slow and wait to introduce your new pet to family and friends. Sharing a photo of your new pet is much more ideal then inviting the town over for a meet and greet.
3rd Others Pets: Introducing other pets is a very complex topic, and there are a lot of factors to consider. When adopting a dog from a local shelter, a meet and greet is usually performed at the shelter under guidance of a kennel attendant. Once you bring the dog home, allow the dogs to have another meet and greet in a neutral place off your property; such as a park or open space. It is recommend to keep both dogs on a leash and pay attention to their body language. Taking a quiet walk together allows for bonding time. Stay calm as animals can pick up if you are stressed and tense. Take away: keep both dogs on a leash, meet in a neutral place and take your time. Going for a walk together is highly recommend. When in doubt, get professional advice!
4th Obedience: Working with your dog on basic obedience. As Barbara mentioned, “this helps to develop a bond with the dog and establishes you as the kind, benevolent leader.” Providing your pet with positive praise and treats for listening to commands is a great building block towards respect and devotion.
Information about our guest: Barbara has been active in the animal movement for many years. She has served as a board member at a local shelter and also fostered hundreds of dogs in her own home. Barb’s success at evaluating at working with “difficult to place” dogs did not go unnoticed. She officially joined My Pet Has Issues as a consultant in 2013. She works with families who are experiencing behavior issues with their pets, to uncover methods to use to allow them to their pets in their home.
Phone: 315- 303- 0438
The above tips are just recommendations, and are not necessary suitable for everyone. It is advised that you research your needs and if suitable set up an appointment with a professional.