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Do I have Everything that I need for my new pet?

A proper introduction can minimize the stress for the people and the pet.

You have chosen the best pet to fit your current living situation and now it is time to bring them home. Are you prepared? You have made a commitment to adopt this animal. Have you also made a commitment to the responsibilities that go along with pet ownership?

Bringing a pet into a new environment is extremely stressful for the pet. The animal has probably not known you for very long and now you have brought them to a strange place, with strange smells and possibly more unknown people and maybe even other animals. They have not had a chance to develop a trusting relationship and they really have no idea of what to expect. This can be a scary situation for any animal and the behavior that they exhibit in the first few days is not necessarily how they will behave on a regular basis.

It is up to you the owner to make sure that all the animals needs are met.

Is my home and family ready for a new dog?

The rewards of dog ownership can be extremely enjoyable; however, this new fur-baby comes with a great deal of responsibility.

  • A dog is a pack animal and they are looking to you, their new owner, for guidance. If you don’t set up the guidelines and rules, the dog will try and set up their own rules. You are the pack leader; your dog will learn to respect you as you learn your new role. As a pack leader, you will need to be firm and assertive in your training of the new dog but never become abusive. There are courses in most communities that can assist you in becoming a good pet owner that will allow you to get the most out of this relationship with your new dog.
  • What do you plan to feed this dog? Find out what the dog was eating before you picked him up and if possible bring some of the same food home. Do your research to determine what a healthy diet for a dog really entails and then prepare to slowly transition your dog over to the healthy food. https://petaffection.ca
  • Always provide clean fresh water for your dog to drink, dehydration can cause many health problems in animals and a good supply of water aids in proper food digestion. It is also important to wash the water dish as it becomes scummy from bacteria from the animal’s tongue.
  • Where is, this dog going to go to the bathroom? Do you have a big back yard? Are you prepared to paper-train?  Do you realize that there will be accidents in the house? One of the first frustrations of having a new animal is training them to relieve themselves where and when you want them you to go. It is important to understand the dog’s confusion about the bathroom issue may be complex and to remain calm as you realize that both of you are learning what will work in your specific situation. For the first few days keep the dog close to you and watch for signs that he needs to go outside. If he starts to squat in the corner, get him outside. Pay attention to when he eats and 15- 20 min. later take him outside and praise him for going where he is supposed to go.
  • Identification tags are important, dogs go missing every day and there is a far better chance of getting them back if the owner can be identified. You may also want to consider getting an identification chip implanted. Speak to your vet about this option.
  • You will be required to register your dog as per your community bylaws. In some community’s cats are now required to be registered as well. This is usually a yearly renewal with a fee and you will receive dog/cat tags. Your dog will need to have a rabies shot and in some communities, you may eligible for a reduced rate if your dog is spayed or neutered.
  •  Having registered your dog, does not allow your dog to be at large and run around in the community. You need to contain your dog within your property. However, it is no longer acceptable to chain up your dog outside for long periods of time. If you choose to ignore this point, expect to hear from concerned neighbors, animal activist groups and animal bylaw officers.
  • Don’t expect that your new dog will have all their social skills in place when you bring them home. You probably don’t know the details of their previous situation, it may have been abusive or neglectful. They may have lived in fear, they may cower and be shy. Give them time to get to know you and your family with as much calmness as possible. Also, remember that it may take awhile for the animal to learn to trust you, encourage that trust with patience.

Do I have everything ready to bring home my new cat?

When you are bringing home a cat, the best thing you can do for the cat is to recognize that the cat will be extremely stressed. To ease some of the anxiety your feline fur-baby is feeling try some of the following suggestions;

  • Prepare the home by cat proofing it to keep your cat safe, and to protect some of the household items.
  • Make sure there are no outdoor exit routes such as an open window or a doggie door. The cat has not yet determined that this place is home and may attempt to escape.
  • Set up a small confined space for the cat to spend the first few day getting used to the home. This allows the cat to get used to the noises, smells and activities within the home. If you allow the cat free reign as soon as she enters the home, her first instinct may be to find a hiding place which may not be safe.
  • Set up a litter box, and show the cat where it is located.
  •  Set up fresh water and food.https://petaffecion.ca (keep these separate) If the cat does not eat too much during the first 24-48 hours this may be due to the stress of the move.
  • Spend short frequent periods of time with your cat. Let them get to know you and your routine. You may want to read a book out loud or let them hear you talking on the phone so that they get used to what you sound like. Let the cat have an item of your clothing so that they recognize your smell.
  • For entertainment, you can leave some cat toys and balls for the cat.
  • Provide a scratching post that is at least one meter tall. Scratching is a natural behavior that is also calming for the cat. It may also save some furniture.
  • Teach the children in the home to be kind and respectful towards the cat. Poking at the cat or pulling her tail is mean and abusive, that will probably result in bites and scratches.
  • When the cat has had a chance to calm down from the move, introducing other members of the household slowly would be desirable.

Sometimes we don’t have time to plan for the arrival of a new pet, sometimes we just must adapt our living situation and accommodate a new arrival to our family. This was the situation for Shannon.

Colorful Canine

I had lost my dog Casey in March and it wasn’t looking to adopt another pet at the time. However, on August 27/15 a knock came to my door, it was an RCMP Cpl. who handed me this brightly coloured dog and said “here you are social worker fix her.” The previous owner dyed this bichon-frise poodle every colour of the rainbow. The officer advised me that this was an animal from an abusive situation where the dog would be left in a kennel for days without food and water. The dog was not allowed out of the kennel to go to the bathroom and if she made a mess in the kennel, the dog would be beaten.

I agreed to take this very scared stressed filled dog into my home, I named her Becky. First thing I did was take her to a local groomer and had her shaved to remove all the fur with the dye color. This was not an easy task as Becky was so fearful of being abused. Becky would alligator roll and constantly try and bite us so much that we had to muzzle her. I remember the groomer saying that she thought Becky was a lost cause. I was heartbroken, this little dog had been through so much abuse and stress that she would take a long time, and compassionate care, before she would learn to trust me.

For the first couple of months, our biggest challenge was bathroom training. I had to convince Becky that I was not going to hurt her just because she had to go to the bathroom. This was a long drawn out process in which I questioned my ability to help Becky overcome this fear. However, with a lot of love, patience and compassion Becky has become my loyal companion. She has free range of the main floor of the house during the day and I leave the TV on for her. As soon as I get home from work it’s cuddle time, then outside for a much-needed bathroom break. I try doing this in reverse but Becky won’t have it.

Becky never leaves my side and has travelled with me out of province, occasionally to my workplace and is a regular visitor at our local nursing home. Becky has compassion and the ability to make those around her feel loved.

Recently my friends from the US were visiting and my friend Cheryl is battling stage IV breast cancer. Becky, who usually barks like there’s no tomorrow if someone comes in the door, remained calm during their whole stay and took time to cuddle with each family member. It was as if Becky knew that Cheryl and her family needed her special love.

One year later, I can’t imagine my life without Becky. At night, she cuddles up so tight beside me you couldn’t put a paper between the two of us. Becky overcame her fear of abuse and enjoys being the centre of attention in my home.

                                                                                     -Shannon Dupont

Over the years, a family can have many different pets and each pet has different impact on different members of their family. Theresa share stories about how different dogs came to live with her family.

How Our Dogs Came into Our life!

When my son was in kindergarten, his class went on a field trip to a local farm, I went along as a parent chaperone. One of the most exciting things on the farm that day was the batch of border Collie puppies. Our family had been thinking about getting a puppy for some time. Later that day the children were all bustling around, all but my son who was sitting under a tree crying. What I asked him what was wrong my son said that he just wanted to take one of those puppy’s home. Without any prior breed knowledge, we did end up taking one of those puppy’s home.

The border collie pup was very hyper and very smart and learned the habits and needs of our family very quickly. At the age of two years this dog that we name Sally, had a personality change and matured into a kind loving loyal pet for our very large family.

My mom would come over on occasion to help with my four children. My mom was deaf and could not hear the phone ring. When the phone rang, Sally would bark incessantly alerting mom to the ringing of the phone. At first, I thought the ringing of the phone must be bothering Sally’s ears but then I realized that Sally only barked at the ringing phone when my mom was there. Sally knew that mom had a hearing issue, animals know a lot more than we think they do.

After Sally passed away I knew that we had to get another border collie. I left my name at the Winnipeg city Pound advising that I was looking for border Collie. One day I got the call that there was a border coldly in need of a home and was I still interested? Flex, the border collie had been in several home situations that just did not work out. Supposedly flex had behavioural issues. When I arrived at the pound the attendant handed me the leash and said, “there you go,” no getting used to each other, no time to change my mind.

When Flex came to live with our family, in our rural country home, there was no bylaw officer and dogs roam freely in the area. Several dogs would get together in a group and form a pack. Flex was part of this group and he made friends with a beautiful chocolate lab. The group gathered on a regular basis and I grew accustomed to seeing Flex with his friends. The chocolate lab stopped coming by and I wonder what it happened especially after a year had passed.

One day I drove into my driveway and there was flex and a very large mean looking black lab. I was hesitant to get out of the car but the black lab turned out to be a very sweet dog with the same sort of disposition as the chocolate lab. One cold winter evening I was calling flex to come in for the night and the black lab was there on my step. “Way you go, time to go home,” I said to the black lab. I tried several times to shoo the dog off the step however he chose to lay down on the mat outside the door. Flex was anxious and paced around looking towards the door. I could not handle leaving the black lab outside anymore and I opened the door and asked him if he wanted to come in? The black lab Diesel never left.

Turns out the Diesel was a pup from the chocolate lab, Flex’s friend’s son. One day a young man showed up stating that the black lab had been his dog and when he left to go to college there was no one around to look after him. The young man hope that since I had taken him in that I would keep him…… Of course, I did.I believe that Flex knew what it was like not to have a home and he knew that the black lab was his friends pup and he needed to look after him. Flex and Diesel are the best of friends they play together take care of each other and love their family.

                                                                                -Theresa Pavluk

Peoples lives are enhanced by the addition of a pet! Having a pet brings out responsibility for another being. Keeping the pet fed, watered, clean and healthy brings out nurturing instincts. Walking and playing with the pet give us an exercise partner. Being in the presence of, cuddling with, petting, and talking to the pet, give us loyal, devoted companionship.

For more articles like this or if you are looking for Natural Canadian Pet Food and Treats check out: https://petaffection.ca