Bringing a new pet home is a big event for any family, but it can be jarring for your new companion. Take time to prepare before introducing your new family member to their new home so they can transition smoothly. Some cautious steps early on can make a big difference in helping everybody adjust.

Be patient and gentle with your new family member.

Petfinder points out that the first few days in a new home are vital for any pet. They will likely be confused about what is happening and they won’t know what your expectations are right away. If you are adopting a rescue pet, they may be even more fearful about their situation.

Don’t wait until the pet gets into your home to decide what your expectations are. Know where you will and will not allow the pet to be and stock up on basic supplies. If you can keep your new companion on the same food they were on in their former home for a while, that is typically best.

Set up a safe place for your new pet during the transition.

Cats will often adjust fairly quickly to a new home, although they may lay low and hide for a while. Start them off in a small room like a bathroom where they have access to food, water, and a litter box, and give them some space to explore and adjust on their own timetable. They may take a few days to venture far from their safe space, but most cats will gain confidence fairly quickly.

When it comes to dogs, there is typically more work that needs to be done during this transition period. The Humane Society suggests bringing your new dog home on a weekend when you have a couple of days available to stay close by their side as they adjust.

Even if your new dog is already housebroken, they may have some accidents early on, so the kitchen may be a good spot for them during their transition. Most experts recommend crate training dogs, so have a crate ready for your new pooch and let them explore the it a bit on their own.

Keep the new pet’s world small at first and remove items that could be dangerous

Spend some time dog-proofing your place before Fido arrives. As Petco details, cleaners and chemicals need to be put up high and remember that medications and foods like chocolate and onions are dangerous too. In addition, items like plants, rugs, and fragile belongings may need to be moved, and baby gates can be helpful in these early days.

Your new family member will probably adjust best if you keep visitors away for a few days and focus on bonding as a family. Teach children how to approach your pup and keep a close eye on them to make sure they are gentle and give your dog some space. Put together a reliable routine right away focusing on sleeping, feeding, toileting, and exercise.

Build up to excursions away from home and introducing them to others

You will be anxious to take your dog for long walks and have fun with them, but take things slowly and read your pup’s cues for when they are ready for more. Getting them out and socialized is important, but doing too much, too soon can backfire, especially if they are a rescue dog.

Adding a pet to the family is exciting for everybody involved, but the process can be stressful for the animals. Prepare your home before their arrival and give them an opportunity to explore and settle in before expecting too much of them. You will likely have this pet in your family for years to come, and those early transition days will have a big impact on how smoothly the relationship progresses.

[Image via Pixabay]

 

Author:  Jessica Brody  (OurBestFriends.pet)

Our dogs join our family and soon become so much a part of us that we can’t imagine life without them, even if that means a few hours away on a road trip. This means we take them along on road trips and all manner of vacations, and also take them with us when running errands. When every other member of the family gets in the car, the first thing they do is buckle up.

The canine member needs to buckle up too. Doing so is a safety measure for you, the dog, and other road users for the following reasons.

Travel safety tips

Most dogs can’t sit still in a car especially when there are new sights to see. Their fidgeting can cause distracted driving equivalent to talking on your phone while driving. In fact, some states such as New Jersey have put laws in place to prohibit dog owners from driving around with an unrestrained pet, and the fine for doing so is steep. In Hawaii, it’s illegal to drive while holding your dog on the lap.

A dog that weighs a mere 30 pounds might not be that heavy to hold on the lap. However, if a crash occurs and he flies out of a vehicle driving at 50 km/hr, he will hit someone with a momentum of 1500 pounds and that’s not small at all. Restraining him means in case of a crash he will not fly out of the car causing injury to others.

If a crash occurs your dog immediately becomes defensive and not so friendly to strangers. If he is unrestrained he might bite the people who come to your rescue, including paramedics. This will lead to more precious time getting wasted trying to deal with the dog instead of the injured people in the car.

Travel safety tips

In case the dog bites someone, the cost of treatment will be on you. Your dog is both your legal and financial responsibility so it’s best to keep him restrained and avoid a situation where he is free to bite people.

If he is unrestrained he might run away from the crash site and right into the middle of the road in his confusion. This could cause a secondary accident as drivers try to swerve away to avoid hitting him and the passengers could get injured in the process. This can all be prevented by simply buckling your dog.

You can either use a dog buckle and harness to restrain the dog in the middle backseat, or put him in a crate and buckle up the crate. This will ensure your dog is safely restrained and not posing danger to you and other drivers.

Travel Safety Tips


[divider height=”5″]

Dog parks are fun especially in spring. The dog can finally go outdoors without you worrying about the winter cold, and the colors everywhere and the green grass look like heaven after the winter gloom. The best part is the dog can play off-leash since this is a park designed specifically for canines. But just like everything else, dog parks are only fun if everyone is responsible. Here are things you should do to make the visit to the park fun for you, your dog, and everyone else.

Don’ts

Don’t spend too much time on your cell phone. Give your dog your full attention, both because this is your fun day together and because spending all your time on your phone means you are not taking care of your dog. Be attentive to what is going on around you and keep your dog in sight to ensure he is not misbehaving and ruining everyone’s fun.

Don’t bring children to the dog park. Bringing children to the park, especially young ones means you will not spend as much time controlling your dog’s behavior, and the child might also catch diseases from all the dogs present.

The Dog park safety tips

In addition, avoid bringing food and drink to the dog park. If there are some dogs that are not adequately trained, they may cause chaos trying to snatch the food. Also, if the food is a snack such as chocolate it might pose danger to the dogs’ health.

Don’t take a puppy younger than four months to the park. Puppies are much more susceptible to illnesses so wait until he is older to have some fun in the dog park.

Do’s

Make sure you read all the rules and regulations put in place by the park’s management. The rules are there for a reason; they help keep order in the place and keep all the dogs and humans safe.

Always pay attention to your dog. When you give the dog your undivided attention, you will both have fun, and and exercise like you had planned to. If on the other hand you are distracted, he might start picking fights with other dogs or engaging in other mischief that might end your visit prematurely.

The Dog park safety tips

Ensure your dog has a collar with identification so that in case you are separated the authorities can easily bring him home. Also make sure his vaccinations are up to date to prevent him from catching illnesses from other dogs.

Only take your dog to the park when the temperatures are not too high. Remember most dogs have a hard time keeping cool. Take him in the early mornings and early evenings/ late afternoons.

Dog Park Safety Tips


[divider height=”5″]

I was watching a documentary on Discovery Channel the other day, when one of the commentators made one of the most sensible remarks I’ve ever heard. He said that due to our short life spans, we tend to think that the landscape is permanent. In reality, the landscape is always shifting. Thinking about it, I saw the truth in that statement. Maybe the slope down the road has not always been that way. Maybe an earthquake could strike any time and change life as I and my family know it. Because of natural disasters such as this, we always need to hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.

Preparing your dog for disaster

May 8th is the National Pet preparedness day, a reminder that disaster can strike any time and therefore you need to be ready. The plan you have in place should take into account all your family members, including your dog.

When disaster strikes you might be separated from your dog. Make sure your dog is microchipped to make it easier to find him in case he gets lost.

Also, always make sure you have a disaster kit ready. Sometimes you need to evacuate on short notice and that’s when the kit comes in handy.

Pack enough food and water for each dog to last them at least five days. You also need to pack sturdy leashes to keep your dog near you and minimize the possibility of losing him. Sometimes you might have to board your dog in a shelter, so have a carrier ready to transport him to the shelter. The carrier should be large enough to provide the dog with ample room to move around and also stand.

Preparing your dog for disaster

Include a pet first-aid kit, and pack a dog first-aid book in case your dog gets hurt and you need instructions to performfirst-aid on him.You should also pack medications as well as your dog’s medical records.

Have a written list of your dog’s feeding schedule, behavior issues and special conditions he might have. This information comes in handy in case you have to leave your dog in the care of someone else.

Preparing your Dog for Disaster


[divider height=”5″]