Did you know that June is National Foster a Pet Month? If you’re considering opening your heart and home to an inquisitive canine, we’re here for you! Whether your new foster – or furever – family member will be a puppy or adolescent, an adult or a senior, we want to take a minute to walk you through some of the initial planning and preparation steps. That way, you’ll have more time (and energy) later to focus on all the snuggles, adventures and pawsitive experiences!
Setting Up for Success
Whether you’re a first-time dog guardian or a seasoned pro, managing the environment to maximize safety and prevent mishaps (door dashing, chewed furniture, potty accidents, etc.) are your top priorities. A word of caution here though- internet surfing about ways to prevent your dog from counter surfing can yield some great insights in addition to some results that honestly, get our hackles up. In a nutshell, when evaluating products and services for management and training, please do your best to make informed, compassionate decisions. From selecting a safe, comfortable harness to finding a reliable, knowledgeable dog walker or certified force-free trainer, it can really pay to do your homework. (Shopping for pet supplies is covered thoroughly in a previous post, which we hope you find helpful.)
Find a Vet Before You Need One
When adjusting to a new home, new people and perhaps even other pets, pups might have a change in eating, drinking, and/or elimination patterns. These could be signs of stress or symptoms of an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed quickly. So, another item on the preparation to-do list is to find a veterinary professional and/or team that you work well with. Please note, it’s also best to check with the vet about diet and how to gradually transition to the food and feeding regimen you’ll be implementing.
Each Dog is an Individual
Once you’ve got your management strategies and pet professionals lined up, the next step is to give some thought to the day-to-day changes that will be taking place. Something as simple as establishing routines can go a long way in easing this transition for the whole family. It’s best to decide on feeding, sleeping, and potty routines before bringing your new dog home. However, routines are adaptable, and each dog should be treated as an individual. That means, we as dog guardians, should be willing and able to adjust our expectations as we continually learn about our pups’ needs and preferences.
Be Prepared… to Listen and Learn
When you bring home a pet, the goal is living harmoniously together, right? So, devote some prep time to considering how to help your pup adapt successfully to our human world. Generally speaking, animals (including humans!) get stressed with change. Try to be patient, even if it means learning new skills that will help make an inquisitive canine’s transition into your home safer, easier and happier. A good place to start is exploring resources on dog body language, so that when your new friend is trying to communicate (in dog-lish), you can respond with love and comfort, laying the groundwork for a strong and trusting human-canine bond.
How Can We Help?
Another fun way to bond, whether you’re providing a foster home or a furever home, is through positive reinforcement training. Planning to train at home? Or with a professional? Whatever you choose, just remember to seek a gentle, humane approach. If you come up with any questions along the way, please contact us and let us know how we can help you and your furry family get started off on the right paw together!
Thank you for being (or planning to be) an inquisitive dog guardian!