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Helpful Info for the First Few Weeks at Home

 

  • Introducing Your New Dog to Other Animals

If you have another dog in your home, then they may have met at the shelter before going home.  Be advised that the dog meets we do at the shelter are not a guarantee of how things will go once in the home.  Some dogs will play well with other dogs outside of the home but once back home, do not share their people, their toys, their food, or even space.  These situations can be very hard to manage.  Call our Training Team immediately for assistance in these situations.

Be sure you have removed all toys and bones from the living space both inside and outside.  Feed dogs far apart from each other and supervise until both are done eating.  It is normal canine behavior to not share food type items.

Even if the new and resident dogs seem to be getting along just fine, it is important to separate them when you cannot supervise.  Things like the door bell ringing or a squirrel seen outside the window, can cause an argument to happen that might not happen otherwise.  If you are home during these times, you can interrupt the behavior and keep everyone safe.  Until you have a chance to observe the dogs together for several weeks, at a minimum, they should be separated when you leave.

If you have a cat in your home, she may be very unhappy about the new dog you just brought home.  Give her some time to get used to the "intruder".  Giving your cat plenty of high spaces to observe the dog, and opportunities to move away, will help her feel more comfortable.  Never leave your new dog and cat together unsupervised.  Confine one or the other until they have had several weeks of living together and you have observed safe interactions.  

If you are unsure about the interactions between your new dog and other animals, don't hesitate to give us a call.  We are here to help!  Email to training@longmonthumane.org or call us at 303/772-1232 ext. 270. 

  • Introducing your New Dog to Other People

It is human nature to want to pet and touch dogs and show our love.  However, not all dogs are comfortable with new people approaching.  As owners, it is our responsibility to be our dog's protector and educate others how to say hello to our dog.  Always watch your dog for what he wants.  Does he want to say hello to new people?  Or is he moving away?  Sometimes the simple act of moving away, or even not going forward to say hello, is the dog's best way of saying "no, thank you".  Ask visitors to respect your dog's wishes.  If your dog approaches a new person, with loose wiggly body posture, give the visitor a treat and have them ask the dog to sit, then offer the treat.  Or, have the visitor toss the dog a treat to "catch".  

On that same note, a hug is a wonderful way for humans to express affection, but dog language holds a different meaning.  Hugging a dog that you know well, and who knows you well, may be just fine.  Hugging a dog who doesn't know you very well, is generally not a good idea.  Safest to teach children that hugs are meant for people, not for dogs.  

Teach your children how to be appropriate with dogs.  Children should leave a dog alone who is eating or who has a bone.  Children should never be allowed to go in a dog's crate or on a dog's bed.  And, of course, teach your child how to pet and never pull, lay on, or step on a dog.  If you cannot supervise your child with your dog, put the dog in a crate and keep everyone safe.

  • Inside the New Home

The transition to a new home can be immediate or may legitimately take several months.  Like us, dogs are individuals.  They need to learn what your expectations are and you need to learn his needs and preferences and you both need to learn how to communicate with each other.

Do you allow your dogs on the furniture with you?  As long as all the animals in the home (2- and 4-legged) can amicably share the couch, the bed, or other furniture together, there is no problem with allowing them to do so.  Many people enjoy having the dog(s) cuddle on the couch with them or in their bed.  However, if any of the 4-legged animals is not nice to another 2- or 4-legged animal while on the couch, off he goes!  No furniture privileges unless everyone is respectful to the other.

If family rules state no dogs on the couch, let the dog drag a leash while in the house for the first day or two.  If Fido jumps up on the couch, simply take the end of the leash, walk away from the couch while calmly repeating the word "off".  Don't pull or push the dog off.  You will likely need to repeat this just a few times, so be patient.  Soon, the word "off" should be enough without needing the leash.

Housetraining will likely be something that you will need to address with your new companion.  Click here for detailed instructions.

  • Outside the New Home

The backyard is a fun but dangerous place for a new dog.  Be watchful the first few weeks after bringing home your new dog.  Walk along the fenceline yourself and look for ways for your new dog to get out of the yard.  He may be perfectly happy with you as his new owner, but boy are there a lot of good smells on the other side of that fence!  Are there stacks of firewood, or a table, or other "step stool" near the fence that will allow him to get up and over?  Is the fence secure with no loose boards?  Are there areas under the fence where the ground is lower and the dog can squeeze under?  Take the time to look for these access areas and also observe your dog while in the yard to make sure he does not go on any adventures on his own.

  • Health Care

Your adopted dog received several vaccinations before adoption:  Distemper combination that includes Parvo, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza; also a Bordetella vaccine (also known as Kennel Cough).  If your dog is over 12 weeks of age, he should have also received a rabies vaccine.  There are a few different reasons why he may not have received a rabies however, and if so, he will have gone home with a voucher valid for a rabies vaccine from our Well Pet Clinic located at Longmont Humane Society.  It is important to bring him to the Clinic and get that rabies vaccine done as soon as indicated on your voucher.

Your dog will have also received an oral de-wormer and may have received a heartworm test.

Although your new dog has received an examination from our veterinary team, it is always possible that there are health concerns of which we were unaware.  In addition, symptoms of some illnesses can begin as soon as you bring your dog home simply due to the change in environment.  If you notice lethargy, diarrhea, nasal discharge, coughing, vomiting, or other signs that cause you to question his wellbeing, please make an appointment with your veterinarian right away.  Many veterinarians offer free exams to newly adopted dogs and, in your adoption packet, you also received a certificate for a free visit to our Well Pet Clinic located at Longmont Humane Society.

Your adoption includes free 30-days trial of pet insurance through 24PetWatch.  In order to receive your the trial, you must activate your insurance by looking for an email from the insurance company and click on the link in that email.  The insurance will not be activated unless you click on this link.  For many illnesses and accidents, within 30 days after adoption, this pet insurance will pay your entire veterinary bill.  If you choose to visit Well Pet Clinic located at Longmont Humane Society, we will pay your deductible.  

If you or your veterinarian has any questions about the health care your dog received during his stay at Longmont Humane Society, please feel free to contact us and we will be glad to help.

Additional information, click here

 

Contact 303.772.1232 x270 or training@longmonthumane.org for questions