Families, children, and dogs
Small children (5 years and under) and small dogs don’t always mix and is one of the top reasons dogs are surrendered to kill and no-kill shelters in the United States. As a result, Pet Savers does not typically adopt dogs to families with very young children unless the circumstances are fitting.
Pet Care: Dogs
Your first days home:
- First of all, don’t expect too much from your new dog at the beginning. She may have been wandering on her own or kenneled for awhile and she’ll need a period of adjustment to get used to you and her new environment. Be prepared to be patient and forgiving.
- Spend time in the same room as your new dog. Sit on the floor and read a book for example, and let her slowly come to you over time. Although you’ll be tempted to pat and kiss your new dog to show your affection, don’t get in your dog’s face!
- Speak in soft, kind, gentle tones that instill trust.
- Show your new dog the door to the outside and consistently let her out that door. Don’t confuse her with too many exits.
- Take a week or two to invite family and friends to your house to see your new pet. First make sure the dog is comfortable and secure in her new surroundings and don’t take her out and show her off to all your friends before she knows which home is hers.
- Dogs like routine. They want to eat at the same time each day, sleep when you’re away, and spend time with you when you’re home. If you work and won’t be home during the day, don’t spend the first week home with your new dog, 24 hours a day.
- Introduce your new dog to other dogs in the household on neutral territory, away from your house. Keep both dogs leashed for control, until you are certain they will get along. Introduce the dog to a cat by keeping the cat protected in a cage and the dog on a leash. If the dog appears aggressive, you might use a nylon muzzle on her until she gets used to the cat. Don’t leave the new dog alone with other pets when you leave the house.
- Always closely supervise you new dog with children Children’s tones of voices and quick movements can unsettle a dog and most dog bites are inflicted on children.
Follow up vet care
You will need to bring your dog to a veterinarian at least once a year. Your vet will advise you on the vaccinations your dog will need and on what schedule. Be sure to use heartworm preventative and flea/tick repellents.
Always see a veterinarian if the dog is sick, especially if she is experiencing diarrhea, vomiting coughing, loses her appetite or is licking excessively.
Dog owning essentials
A small meal in the morning and evening should be sufficient. Buy a good brand of dog food, not necessarily a brand on sale, and keep her on the same diet all the times. We recommend feeding the dog a combination of dry and canned food (2:1). Most of all don’t overfeed and do not experiment with a variety of food brands.
If you adopt a puppy, continue her on puppy food for the first 6 months then transition her gradually to adult dog food.
Collars and leashes
Every dog, no matter how small, needs a daily walk or two.
And remember to take a plastic bag with you on walk to pick up after your dog!
The “Kong Toy,” available in most pet stores can entertain a dog for hours. Its hard rubber is almost indestructible and it’s made to fill with all sorts of treats — peanut butter, dog food, etc. A bored dog may work for hours at getting to the goodies inside.
We also recommend you own a couple of hard rubber or tennis balls and a Frisbee™ for playtime and exercise.
Clean Up Products
Every dog will have an accident at some time. One of the best products we’ve found to clean up after pets is “Nature’s Miracle” a solution that’s available in most pet stores. The enzymes in the solution eliminate the stain and any smell.