October is Adopt-A-Dog Month! It’s not easy to visit your local animal shelters and look at all those cuties in need of homes. It is very tempting to make the snap decision and adopt a dog without making the proper preparations or doing enough research. Adopting a new dog is a decision that should be made informatively.
If you have tried to convince your spouse or even yourself to take on the role of a full-time dog guardian, here’s your window! This time it might actually work.
Before you go out and adopt a new dog, we want to emphasize that you should adopt and not shop! Bringing a pet into your home is a big decision and a lot of responsibility. Here are six things to do when adopting a new dog in Aurora and Newmarket!
Dog-Proof Your Home Before Adopting A New Dog
When you bring a new dog into your home, they don’t know right away what belongs to them and what doesn’t. Before adopting a new dog, be sure to dog-proof the areas where they will be hanging out the most. This includes taping up any wires that may be within reach and keeping hazardous things away from them. Block off any areas you don’t want them to get into right away by closing doors or putting up gates.
Obtain All Necessary Pet Supplies
Shopping for pet supplies can be just as fun as shopping for new clothes or shoes! There is a wide range of amazing pet stores that you can visit to find the right things for your new fur baby. The first few items you will need are a leash and collar. Along with the collar, don’t forget to get an ID tag made with your pet’s name, your address and your phone number on it. Next, pick up some food and water bowls. Stainless steel bowls are a great way to go as they do not harbour as much bacteria as plastic bowls. Your dog will also need a comfortable place to sleep, so a bed or a crate will be great items to consider.
You may want to consider a customized collar with your dog’s name and phone number on it for easy visibility from WagzWear. They are locally made, strong and durable.
Keeping your pet on a well-balanced diet is paramount to their overall health. All dogs are different in terms of their nutritional needs. Finding the right food may be a bit of a trial and error process. Rest assured that once you find a brand and flavour your dog likes, they will look forward to feeding time!
Lastly, you will want to make sure your dog stays occupied and stimulated during the day. A wide variety of toys will do just the trick! Pick up some squeaky toys, a kong, and even a bully stick to keep your dog busy when you need a moment to work or take care of the kids. When you are choosing toys for your new family member, make sure they are appropriate for their size and bite. If you have a heavy chewer there are toys specially made for their safety.
Introduce Them To The Family Slowly
Introducing your dog to your family can be an overwhelming process for your new pup. They have likely been through a lot, so meeting new people might be a bit of a challenge. Have your family meet your new fur baby outside, as this is a neutral environment. Keep the dog leashed so you can easily control them as well. Keeping your introductions short will decrease the chance of your dog becoming overwhelmed by the experience. It is tempting to shower your new pet with all the love, hugs and kisses that you have to offer, but your pet might not be so receptive to that right away. Give them a chance to sniff you while you feed them treats. Your dog will need to learn that they can trust you. Once they have established that trust and comfort, do not hold back with the love and attention!
Allow Your New Pup To Explore Your House And Yard
When you bring home your newly adopted dog, they will want to explore their environment. When giving your dog a tour of their new home, keep them on a leash at first. This will allow you to guide them through each room to become familiar with their new surroundings.
Some dogs are more inclined to explore right away than others. If you have a shy dog, don’t force them to walk around your house and explore. Give them a chance to get settled, and once you see that their curiosity has peaked, then you can bring them around.
Allowing them to explore your yard is a great way to get them acclimated with where you want them to use the bathroom. If you adopt an adult dog, chances are they have been potty trained and understand where to use the bathroom. Younger dogs may need a bit more help and training with getting used to where they can eliminate their waste. Nevertheless, create a positive experience for your new dog by giving them their favourite treats when they go to the bathroom in the appropriate place.
Start Training Right Away
You do not want to overwhelm your dog with too much while getting used to their new home and family members. However, basic obedience training is an absolute must when adopting a new dog. You can try and train basic commands like “sit” or “stay” at home. You can make this a fun activity for your pet as well.
Dog training can be a complicated undertaking that you do not have to do alone. You can hire a professional dog trainer to help you learn how to communicate with your dog and enforce good manners. They can also help address any potential underlying issues such as separation anxiety or any undesirable behaviour. Having a well-mannered dog that respects and listens to you can help make your bond so much stronger.
Most trainers recommend you have the dog for at least 2 weeks so they can get settled and any underlying behavioural issues will come to the surface.
Schedule A Vet Visit As Soon As You Can
Regular vet visits are a big part of maintaining your dogs’ health. Before you go home from the animal shelter, try to obtain the vet records and as much of the history of your new dog so you can get an idea of what they may or may not need. Sometimes it is not always possible to obtain vet records from the animal shelters, so be ready to schedule a visit with your local vet to have a complete check-up done on your pet. Here are some tips on choosing veterinary care for your pet
Aside from regular vet visits, having a pet insurance plan for your new companion may also be something to consider. We never want to think about our dogs being hurt or needing emergency medical attention. Life is truly unpredictable, so having pet insurance in place can be very helpful if you do find yourself in an unfortunate situation.
Once your new furry friend is all settled and comfortable, spend the first few days bonding with your new dog without being overbearing. Our dogs communicate with us. We need to listen! Please pay attention to their body language and what they respond to the most.
Adopting a new dog in Aurora or Newmarket can be one of the most rewarding things you can ever do. Nothing would make us happier than you saving a pet’s life. Emptying shelters helps to free up more space for more pets in need.
Nevertheless, we’re always just a call or message away if you ever need someone to help you take care of your future fur-baby.
Morag is the owner and founder of York Regions most trusted premier in-home pet care and dog walking companies. In 2000 she saw a need for an alternative to kennels, catteries for family pets in the area and has always believed that pets are much happier and less stressed staying in their own familiar environment. Morag and her team are all certified in Pet 1st Aid and CPR, she also offers continuous training to her team members through online and hands on pet care and pet behaviour and care courses. Morag has earned her certificate in Professional Pet Sitting, Professional Dog Walking and Canine Attendant training. She has lived in the Newmarket/Aurora area since 1991 is a wife, a mother of 2 adult children and a grandmother of 2 delightful little balls of energy. She has also been owned by fish, birds, mice, rats, cats, dogs, gerbils and guinea pigs and is an advocate for all living creatures. In her spare time she likes to be involved in her community and events travelling, reading and cooking.